NTEU News Room | 25 March 2013
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against Swinburne University of Technology following its decision last July to shut its Lilydale campus and the relocation of the design faculty Prahran campuses in the wake of the Victorian Coalition government’s $290 million cuts to TAFE.
The NTEU alleges Swinburne management was required by its collective agreement with the union to consult with staff and the NTEU prior to making major decisions such as shutting-down campuses.
“It is making a political point about them not abiding by the agreement and their requirements to consult,” NTEU division secretary Colin Long said.
Long said it also highlights the potential for similar lack of consultation now that Victorian legislation has removed requirements for university councils to include elected student and staff representatives. At the time the council approved the decisions on Lilydale and Prahan he said the sole student representative on council was away, and there was only one staff representative present.
All Lilydale students are due to have moved across to the Hawthorn campus by July, and Swinburne has held talks with Box Hill TAFE on a potential takeover of the campus. Swinburne is also negotiating with the local Yarra Ranges Council to develop a proposal that would see the campus continue as a source of tertiary education.
Swinburne expects to complete the transfer of students out of Prahan to Hawthorn next year. As with Lilydale, Swinburne has yet to agree a future for the Prahan campus, though North Melbourne Institute of TAFE has shown interest in the campus.