The Age | 12 June 2013
The National Tertiary Education Union has notified Monash management that it would implement a series of bans, including processing results, overtime and participation in events such as open days.
The union’s industrial organiser for Monash, Stan Rosenthal, said the university would not discuss pay increases for staff. He said the university had refused to negotiate while there were bans on recording or transmitting students’ results. But he said the ban had not affected negotiations over a new agreement because talks were “going nowhere”. ”
It’s been 10 months with no pay offer, no movement on workloads. Our members have had enough.
Bans on processing results had also been implemented at Deakin and Swinburne while staff at RMIT have proceeded with a ban on processing results for students based overseas.
|edXpress is the subscription based monthly e-bulletin from the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) with news and views on what’s happening on campuses around the country.|
NTEU News Room | 3 June 2013
Deakin University staff will stopwork for one hour at 1pm on Wednesday 5 June over stalled collective agreement negotiations. A ban on overtime for general staff, a ban on participating in performance appraisal and a ban on the transmission of student results will be put in place immediately. Deakin University will become the third university in Victoria where the NTEU has banned handing over student results.
The union says staff are concerned that Deakin University management is determined to reduce working conditions. Management proposals that have been put to the union include reducing overtime payments, increasing the hours of work for lower wages, reducing weekend penalty rates, reducing the minimum casual hours a person can be employed, and varying redundancy provisions, effectively reducing the time staff are given to make decisions about their job futures.
Colin Long, National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) Victorian Division Secretary says “it’s not that Deakin University can’t afford it”:
…even given the ‘efficiency dividend’ imposed recently by the Federal Government. Deakin University is the most profitable in Victoria. Last financial year, it boasted a $60 million surplus, $22 million greater than budgeted, which the Vice Chancellor attributed to ‘underspends’ on salaries, research, buildings and grounds costs.
The Age | 27 May 2013
Staff at all Victorian universities are preparing to follow academics at Swinburne by threatening to withhold results for thousands of students as industrial action escalates. The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has reported all Victorian universities have voted in favour of bans on processing results.
Swinburne staff have notified management of plans to enforce the bans, which would apply to university and TAFE students. The union has estimated the ban at Swinburne could affect 50,000 students.
The union has entered an initial claim of a 7 per cent a year pay rise over four years for university staff. It is also seeking a 20 per cent reduction in the level of casual staff by employing more academics permanently.
Victorian secretary, Colin Long, said universities have the money to increase salaries despite recent cuts in federal funding.
They just have to make a choice about whether they spend it on big buildings or they spend it on staff.
Encouraged by remarks by the Commonwealth minister that he’s looking afresh at tertiary “inter-connectedness”, five tertiary institutions* are proposing a national network that brings together the strengths of TAFE and higher education traditions, enabling degrees to be studied initially at TAFE institute campuses in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Students would be able to study degrees in face-to-face, online or blended modes, with extra support depending on their needs and requirements of the course.….[READ MORE]….
The number of teaching-only academics is expected to rise markedly as industrial relations in the sector responds to myriad pressures for change in the traditional academic role. Author of a new report on the topic, Belinda Probert (La Trobe University) points to a shift in attitude by the academic union, the appetite for more teaching academics on the part of university managers and the expiry of many enterprise agreements yet to make provision for these roles….[READ MORE]….
Student teachers in NSW will sit mandatory literacy and numeracy tests before being allowed into classrooms, while only school leavers who score above 80 in three subjects will make it into university courses, as part are part of sweeping reforms designed to improve the quality of teachers in NSW (Great Teaching, Inspired Learning)….[READ MORE]….
Universities in Victoria have been accused by school principals of allowing teacher-trainees to graduate despite failing their final practice rounds in schools. For most student teachers, this is in the fourth year of their bachelor of education degree. Around Australia, school leaders and state governments have been highly critical of education faculties that lower entry standards to admit too many students and then fail to provide the training and classroom experience they need….[READ MORE]….
Fred Hilmer (vice-chancellor of UNSW and chair of the Group of Eight) argues that the university sector is stifled by over-regulation. Despite assurances to the contrary, the establishment of TEQSA has added “a bureaucratic overload to every university, regardless of its history, standing or proven proven quality.”….[READ MORE]….
The Higher Education Standards Panel, which advises and makes recommendations to the Commonwealth minister responsible for tertiary education and research on the Higher Education Standards Framework, has released draft course design and learning outcome standards for comment. The panel has drafted seven standards on course design and ten on learning outcomes…..[READ MORE]….
National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members at Deakin have voted unanimously to prepare for protected industrial action if insufficient progress was made in negotiations by the end of March. NTEU Victorian Secretary Dr Colin Long says that there had been little movement in the position taken by Deakin University management despite five months at the negotiating table….[READ MORE]….
The University of Tasmania (UTAS) has been awarded $219,000 in funding, by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, to lead new research into developing maths pathways for vocational education and training (VET) students to gain the skills required to succeed in their university courses….[READ MORE]….
5 March 3013 | The Times Higher Education Reputation Rankings have placed six Australian universities in the world’s top 100, based on the opinions of 17,000 professors from around the world. The University of Melbourne, at 39, once again came first among the Australians, moving up four places since last year. The University of NSW and Monash entered the top 100 for the first time, joining Australian National University (equal 42nd), Sydney (49) and the University of Queensland (71-80)….[READ MORE]….
4 March 2013 | The Commonwealth government is cutting its education counsellor posts in Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The counsellors are part of the Australian Education International (AEI) network of education representatives who connect Australia’s billion-dollar education industry with overseas opportunities – smoothing regulation issues and assisting with student visa regulations….[READ MORE]….
4 March 2013 | National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members at the University of Sydney will strike for 24 hours Thursday 7 March over enterprise bargaining. NTEU branch president Michael Thomson accused university management of a lack of commitment to the bargaining process and foreshadowed further action if there’s no agreement by mid-March….[READ MORE]….
Merlin Crossley (University of New South Wales) tests the proposition that Australia punches above its weight in terms of global research, producing more than we might expect given our small population.
A cracking recent paper from the office of the Chief Scientist Ian Chubb demonstrates that we are behind our main research partners, Europe and America. The citation analysis is convincing and the results argue for urgent policy action.
We have appeared to “punch above our weight” primarily because the developing world – Asia, South America, India, Africa and the former Soviet Republic – currently punches below its weight.
But times are changing and Asia is moving up. Australia is faced with the choice of falling behind or taking steps to keep pace with the growing prosperity in our region.
It is clear the Chief Scientist’s office is working hard to make sure our nation makes the right choice.
On 12 March 1913, London-born Governor-General Lord Denman, Scottish-born Labor Prime Minister Andrew Fisher and Canadian-born home affairs minister King O’Malley (a colourful character succeeded in banning alcohol in the ACT until 1928 and who may have been actually born in the US) laid three foundation stones on a dusty hill in the newly established Federal Capital Territory (the hill – Capital Hill – was subsumed by the permanent Parliament House). Denman arrived in full vice-regal attire, sword at the ready, his plumed hat like a cockatoo’s crest. His wife, Lady Denman not only officially christened the city (derived from a Ngunnawal word meaning “meeting place”), she provided the locals with elocutionary instruction:
I name the capital of Australia Canberra, with the accent on the can.
Less than 24 hours after Ted Baillieu quit as Victorian premier, News Limited’s Herald Sun had billboard advertising at tram and bus stops throughout Melbourne, linking his demise to the Herald Sun’s publication of transcripts of secret recordings concerning former police commissioner Simon Overland. The Herald Sun making a point as The Age goes compact.
NTEU News Room | 7 March 2013
NTEU Victorian Secretary Dr Colin Long says that there had been little movement in the position taken by Deakin University management despite five months at the negotiating table.
By its own admissions, Deakin University is the most profitable in Victoria. Last financial year, it boasted a $60 million surplus, $22 million greater than budgeted, which the Vice-Chancellor attributed to ‘underspends’ on salaries, research, buildings and grounds costs. Despite this enviable position, the university refuses to table a salary offer. Not surprisingly, members think investment in staff should be a priority.
Long said that university management was taking an equally unfriendly approach to staff conditions.
Despite the copious evidence we’re presented, university management won’t commit to limiting academic workloads in any meaningful way, citing the need for workplace ‘flexibility’, such a tired old chestnut. Management wants staff to work unsocial hours with no compensation, to increase workloads and to remove the job security protections contained in the existing collective agreement.
NTEU Media Centre | 1 March 2012
“This is the first strike in a decade and shows just how riled our members are at management’s arrogance and its lack of commitment to the enterprise bargaining process,” said Branch President Michael Thomson.
We logged our enterprise bargaining claims on August 7 last year. Management took ages to respond. Its main thrust since has been a serious attack on working conditions. While management has now backed down on removing protections around intellectual freedom, it is offering less job security, wants to reduce sick leave entitlements, cut workload and work hours provisions and requirements to properly classify general staff positions.
If there’s noagreement’ by mid-March, the NTEU has foreshadowed a further 48 hour strike on 19-20 March .