Advocate Journal of the National Tertiary Education Union
Volume 19, Number 2, July 2012
Representing Employees in Higher Education, TAFE, Adult Education, RACGP, Research Institutes and Universit y Companies
Fighting for TAFE Annual Tax Guide inside!
PLUS: AUR archive project WA Libraries Forum Fighting cuts at ANU and Sydney Improving gender equity at work RMIT tells staff: Be happy, or else! Inquiry into international student education NTEU revitalising Bluestocking Week
NTEU sets agenda for next round of university bargaining
Advocate is published by National Tertiary Education Union ISSN 1321-8476 ABN 38 579 396 344 PO Box 1323, South Melbourne VIC 3205 Australia ph: 03 9254 1910 fax: 03 9254 1915 email: email@example.com
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Advocate JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL TERTIARY EDUCATION UNION
VOLUME 19, NUMBER 2, JULY 2012 ISSN 1329-7295
All text & images © NTEU 2012 unless otherwise stated.
In accordance with NTEU policy to reduce our impact on the natural environment, this magazine is printed on Behaviour–a 30% recycled stock, manufactured by a PEFC Certified mill, which is ECF Certified Chlorine Free. Advocate is also available online (e-book and PDF) at www.nteu.org.au/advocate NTEU members may opt for ‘soft delivery’ (email notification rather than printed copy) for all NTEU magazines. Login to the members’ area at www.nteu.org.au to access your membership details.
On the cover: NTEU flags and signs adorn a statue at the TAFE4ALL rally outside State Treasury, Melbourne, 10 May 2012 Photo: Justin Westgate SPECIAL FEATURES CAMPAIGNS
FROM THE OFFICERS
Strengthening the chain: precarious workers and unions
The Three Rs of Round 6 Bargaining
Jeannie Rea, National President
Grahame McCulloch, General Secretary
Your next Collective Agreement – why keep it to yourself?
7 8 9 10
Australian Education for Sustainability Alliance; Gender pay gap short-changes women $250.50 a week; Researching conflict in the workplace New NTEU Branch for staff at research institutes in Victoria; Navitas staff get own NTEU Branch Fighting huge cuts at ANU Casual academics struggling to make a living & do their job; Tas Division keeping members informed on UTAS review UC members gain genuine consultation and save their jobs; Sydney Branch fighting job cuts Bronwyn Fredericks CQU ProVC Indigenous appointment; A Slavery Free Guarantee SAHMRI and the implications for SA universities
INDIGENOUS NEWS 12 13
Indigenous Forum 2012 Expanding Conversations Forum
18 19 21 22 24 26
2012 Digital Campus Report
Health of Australian science
Lowering the Boom, by Ian Lowe
AUR: 54 years archived online
Guest Columnist, Ian Dobson
42 44 45 46 48
Democratic councils are crucial to academic independence
ACTU Congress 2012: Secure Jobs. Better Future. Recent human rights actions by NTEU New staff in NTEU offices Tax Guide; NTEU tax statement; NTEU gender equity audit Contacting your Union
Report of the WA Library Forum.
RMIT tells staff: Be happy, or else!
RMIT became a laughing stock with its ‘Behavioural Capability Framework’.
Monitoring impacts of ERA on university staff
NTEU is investigating the effects of research quality measures upon staff.
Significance of university education to regional communities Does the Federal Budget deliver for education?
Wayne Swan has delivered a highly contractionary Budget.
People in insecure work are putting lives on hold
People in precarious work are literally putting their lives on hold because they have no job or income security to plan for the future.
Letter from New Zealand/Aotearoa, by Sandra Grey, TEU
Key academic claim: Control workloads and create new jobs General & Professional Staff bargaining claim Is there a future for libraries and library staff?
NTEU public lecture and Q&A on Thursday 2 August in Armidale NSW.
News from the Net, by Pat Wright
Bargaining Conference sets agenda for Round 6
Approximately 80 delegates from across NTEU’s university branches met to debate key strategies and claims.
Indigenous education & employment take a battering in Victorian TAFE funding cuts
BARGAINING & INDUSTRIAL
Matt McGowan, National Assistant Secretary
Ted deals TAFE a body blow
Victoria mobilises to fight savage cuts to the TAFE sector.
Push to improve gender equity at work
New legislation is intended to better encourage employers to remove barriers to the full and equal participation of women in the workforce.
Bluestocking Week 2012
NTEU is bringing back a week long celebration of women in academia.
Muckaty Nuclear Waste Dump
Traditional land owners from Manuwangku are disputing an agreement to permit a nuclear waste dump on their land.
Inquiry into international student education
The IEAC and the development of a national strategy to support the sustainability and quality of the international education sector.
University of Virginia President ousted in political coup
When non-academic boards take over running academia.
Microscopes and mozzie nets Results of the ISSUE Foundation’s summer trip to Uganda.
FROM THE OFFICERS
JEANNIE REA, NATIONAL PRESIDENT
Strengthening the chain: precarious workers and unions A
round forty per cent of Australian workers are in some form of precarious employment. The NTEU made a strong case to the Howe Insecure Work Inquiry focussing upon the casualisation of university teaching. We argued that while sessional tutoring by post graduate students and expert guest lecturers are a valuable feature of university teaching, over the last decade we have seen an explosion in casualisation.
The distinguishing characteristic of academic casualisation is that the work is not casual or occasional, but the workers are. There is a need for lecturers and tutors every semester, and while management argues they need flexibility, they have casualised far beyond the margins. This is the story across the Australian workforce. Jobs that used to be permanent have been made precarious. While many, in and outside trade unions, have expressed surprise at the high rate of precarious work, this is not a sudden development. Two decades ago, Australian labour researchers were warning of the social and economic deleterious effects of the growing core-peripheral workforce structure. A diminishing core of high skilled, secure and well paid workers with a growing disenfranchised, deskilled and precarious periphery is a characteristic outcome of neo-liberal economic planning, and has transferred the financial risks of business onto the precariously employed, their families and communities. Trade unions focused upon protecting the pay and conditions of their members, while many of the jobs disappeared. Some actually disappeared or went offshore; but others re-appeared in unregulated ‘backyard’ businesses. Australian union membership was in free fall in traditional areas, while whole new areas remained largely unorganised, Outsourced workers were considered to be antagonistic to unions and too hard to organise. Many of these workers were immigrant and female. And it is a bittersweet irony that now immigrant workers and women are joining unions at greater rate than Australian born men. A century ago, Australia was the ‘workingman’s paradise” and trade unions properly took much of the credit for this as men in unionised jobs had better pay and conditions than their counterparts overseas. Most significantly, despite resistance from the craft unions, unskilled and itinerant white men also organised into trade unions. Excluded by the men, women often had to form their own unions from teachers to tailors. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women were sometimes in the union. However, most Indigenous workers were denied mainstream jobs, even though they were often doing the same work from the mission or station. Unions also explicitly excluded non-White migrant workers. A century later unions are once again mainly organised for workers in more secure jobs. But now the face of Australian unionism is a tertiary educated woman in a professional job, because unionised workers are now most likely to be in education, health or services. However, while many unions abandoned those pushed into the precarious jobs claiming they are too hard to organise, some have persevered. The TCFUA (Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union) has 2
succeeded in regulating outwork after almost two decades of political and industrial campaigning. The outworkers, predominantly recently arrived women migrants would have been dismissed as too hard to organise by some, but the TCFUA persisted. Some unions, such as those in retail and entertainment, have a history of organising amongst casual workers, and have regularised employment conditions with varying degrees of success. But unions who had successfully made precarious work permanent across construction, manufacturing and service industries are struggling to represent and campaign for new precariate, as Guy Standing (2011) calls the precariously employed proletariat of neo-liberal globalisation. University employees, and not only academics, feature amongst this class as highly educated and qualified knowledge workers. Ironically, many of the abovementioned labour researchers are themselves precariously employed. University research work is now highly insecure with both the academic and general staff likely to be on limited tenure contracts, reliant on the next successful grant submission. From a union point of view we argue that the researchers, the casual academics and the agency hired general staff need to act collectively rather than individually to improve their position. However, like other unions, we have usually concentrated upon defending the job security of those already in secure jobs. The strategy with academic casuals was to try and limit numbers and increase the remuneration and conditions of casual workers and convert long term casuals. Whilst this has helped, the reality is that most casuals want job security and ongoing staff want colleagues with whom they can share the whole workload of university teaching. In the upcoming bargaining round, the NTEU will seek the creation of 2000 new entry level, permanent, teaching focussed academic positions to permanently replace casualised work. This commitment will benefit both the casualised academics and the academic profession. As the labour researchers argued, unions neglect precarious workers at their own peril as precarious work undermines all workers. The NTEU is an industry union covering all workers in higher education and associated entities. This does not just mean all occupation categories, it also means all categories of employment. In this bargaining round, we are also putting strengthening Indigenous employment targets at the top of the bargaining agenda. Substantially through union advocacy, employment of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders has doubled over the last decade. Let’s keep campaigning for decent and secure jobs for all. After all, as the saying goes, a chain is only as strong as it weakest link. NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
FROM THE OFFICERS
GRAHAME Mcculloch, general secretary
The Three Rs of Round 6 Bargaining M
ore than one hundred rank and file delegates attended NTEU’s Round 6 National Bargaining Conference in Melbourne in late June. The Conference theme of Respect, Recognition and Reward underlined the contemporary aspirations and concerns of Australian university staff. After more than two decades of mass university education, the efforts and work of staff are still not properly recognised and rewarded by individual universities or the Commonwealth Government. Rising workloads, increased managerial control, job insecurity and declining professional autonomy characterise the university working conditions landscape. Round 6 is about tackling these longstanding problems.
Financial and political backdrop While the Rudd and Gillard Labor Governments have delivered substantial additional public investment to Australia’s universities, this has been insufficient to deal with a serious and longstanding shortfall in base funding per student for teaching, research and services. Labor has funded a major expansion of undergraduate enrolments under the new uncapped demand-driven funding system, and made big improvements to the indexation of Commonwealth grants. But it has not committed the financial resources necessary to ameliorate work overload, physical capacity and infrastructure shortages, emerging quality problems and rapid casualisation of the workforce. Nonetheless, the funding shortfall is uneven across the sector with a substantial number of universities retaining significant discretionary revenues mainly from international student and investment income. While the high Australian dollar and the (primarily trans-Atlantic) global financial crisis have flattened the growth of these revenues, they remain significant for bargaining and working conditions purposes. NTEU’s bargaining strategy needs to take account of the widening gap between richer and poorer universities, and the wider global economic uncertainties. We also need to consider the very strong probability of a Coalition victory at the next Federal Election. This would mean little or no prospect of any further direct public investment in universities (and a serious likelihood of real reductions in public funding). It will also certainly mean adverse changes to industrial legislation designed to erode Collective Bargaining and trade union rights. The possibility of a HEWRRs-like program directed at NTEU’s bargaining strategy cannot be discounted. Against this backdrop, the Round 6 bargaining strategy is based on early settlement of new Agreements which both improve key employment conditions for academic and general staff and create a defence against any future Coalition attack on university staff employment and trade union rights. The Union will continue its centralised bargaining approach based on key mandatory claims and settlement points, but the number and scope of these has been limited to enable relatively short negotiating periods. It is essential that Agreements have a life which would extend across the whole of any Coalition Government’s first term, which JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
means that all Agreements should expire no earlier than mid to late 2016. Within this approach, NTEU must be prepared to take industrial action to achieve its objectives, but this will only be necessary if employers unreasonably refuse to settle the Union’s legitimate claims.
Key bargaining claims While the Union faces a difficult political, financial and industrial university environment, it will nonetheless pursue key improvements to members’ employment conditions. Our new mandatory claims are: • Significant improvements to general staff workloads, reclassification, progression, staff development and mobility opportunities and proper professional recognition for general staff. • Better workload arrangements for academic staff with a particular focus on capping excess teaching loads, protecting research opportunities and reducing exceptional levels of workload stress. • A competitive salary rise which takes account of movements in comparable labour markets, actual and prospective increases in the cost of living and the large and continuing uncompensated productivity gains associated with dramatic increases in student enrolments without corresponding increases in staffing numbers. • Continued commitment to Indigenous employment through the implementation of existing, and the establishment of, new targets. • Protection and enhancement of superannuation benefits and standards for all university staff. • A new and innovative entry-level career structure for casual academic employees with a view to achieving a serious and permanent reduction in the unacceptably high levels of casual teaching across the sector. • Protection of existing employment conditions. The detail of these national mandatory claims capture the essence of Respect, Recognition and Reward, and will be supplemented by local claims formulated by each university Branch. More than half of the sector will commence serious bargaining in late July, and nearly three quarters will be involved in bargaining by early 2013. See Bargaining Conference reports, pp.18-21
FROM THE OFFICERS
MATThew MCGOWAN, national assistant secretary
Your next Collective Agreement – why keep it to yourself? I
n June, your Union bought together over 100 university delegates from around Australia to talk about a really important issue for you and all your colleagues – what should the union be fighting for in the next round of enterprise bargaining?
Setting pay and conditions While those of us working for or involved in unions understand how important bargaining is, it is worrying to realise how many Australians don’t know how their wages and conditions are set. Public attitude research done by the Australian Council of Trade Union over the last decade has consistently shown that many people don’t know very much at all about how their conditions are established and protected, and of course the problem is more pronounced with younger workers. We in the NTEU assume people at universities are smart enough to realise that salaries and conditions are set by an industrial instrument called an Enterprise Agreement, and how bargaining occurs. But maybe we shouldn’t be so arrogant. Most members who have been a bargaining process should have some idea, but what about the broader university staff who are not union members know? Do our younger members and potential members think that our present conditions are set in stone and improvement are granted by the employers? Most importantly – do university staff who aren’t members understand that our capacity to really improve salaries and conditions, and to protect important rights is dependent on us having a strong and engaged membership at each institution?
Laying the foundations Last month, every university in Australia was represented at a two day union conference at NTEU’s National Office in Melbourne. Delegates debated the issues of significance in our universities, and how we would deal with these in the next round of enterprise bargaining. Nearly 100 union delegates bought the experiences and views of their universities to the table to discuss issues such as salaries, future of casual employment and academic labour, academic and general staff workloads, general staff classifications and staff development, superannuation among other issues. Our bargaining claims are not decided in closed room in South Melbourne. They are decided by union delegates, most of whom you have elected to your branch committees. Once agreed, these are developed into formal logs of claim that are used to frame negotiations with your university. There are core national claims which every university will receive and be required to negotiate. In addition, your university union branch will consider local claims and other recommended claims that will be included in the log. This ensures that the Union can bargain for a key set of conditions that will apply across the country as negotiated in each 4
university, and that local issues that are not properly covered in the national claim can also be given high priority in the bargaining process. Through union meetings on each campus, members will be asked to discuss and approve final claims. They will receive updates on bargaining from those on the bargaining team. If negotiations do not proceed properly, members may be asked to vote on taking industrial action. This is not done lightly, but is sometimes the only way to convince the management that the union is negotiating on behalf of staff, and they deserve a say in the outcome. When the negotiations reach a conclusion, the national office of the union will check the agreement to make sure everything has been covered, and that there are no inadvertent errors in the agreement. Members will then be members will be asked if they agree with the final outcome before the agreement goes to a formal ballot, and then gets signed and certified.
How you can get involved NTEU is one of the most democratic unions in the country. Members and delegates have a significant role in every step of the process. Members elect the delegates who determine the national claim, members at each university approve the final claim with local issues included, elected members and staff negotiate the agreements, and members vote on the final agreement. Most of those in the elected positions are ordinary staff who are not paid by the Union for their work. They do it because they care about the university, and they care about the way staff are treated. But the Union won’t be able to achieve what we need to achieve without the continued and growing involvement of our members at the workplace. You can support your delegates in the upcoming bargaining. Here’s five things you can do to help! 1. Make sure you know who your delegate is – contact your local Branch. 2. Let your delegate know you are interested in bargaining – ask questions, get information. 3. Share the information with people in your department – members and non-members. 4. Let non-members know that the union is preparing to start negotiating with management. 5. Invite them to join – to enjoy all the benefits of being a union member!
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
Australian Education for Sustainability Alliance
ustralian Education for Sustainability Alliance (AESA) was launched at Parliament House in Canberra in March. The launch included the release of its first report, The State of Education for Sustainability in Australia, and a press conference with school students and Alliance members meeting with over 20 Federal Ministers, MPs and Senators.
The Alliance brings together a diverse range of teacher, parent, and environment organisations with education unions (including NTEU) to demonstrate the need for political leadership on education for sustainability. Its vision is to build a sustainable nation by ensuring all Australians have access to sustainability information through education and professional development. The key aim for the launch was to publicly show the need for increased investment in sustainability education and specifically pressure politicians on reinstating the Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI). AuSSI is a highly successful sustainability program developed in 2003 to provide practical sustainability education to schools across Australia. Since then, it has reached over 3200 schools, supporting teachers to embed sustainability lessons in their classrooms and giving students hands-on experience in sustainability, by reducing
Gender pay gap short-changes women $250.50/wk
ccording to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released on 18 May, Australia’s working women earn 17.4% less than their male colleagues.
the school’s waste, water use, energy and increasing biodiversity. All federal funding for the AuSSI program has been cut in the last twelve months. Alliance members spoke to many politicians, including Environment Minister Tony Burke, Education Minister Peter Garrett and Shadow Environment Minister Greg Hunt about reinvesting in AuSSI during 2012. Primary and high school students from around Canberra joined Alliance spokespeople headed by Australian Conservation Foundation President (as well as NTEU Life Member and Advocate columnist) Ian Lowe at the press conference to tell their stories about sustainability. It was really inspiring to hear about their vegetable patches, recycling and re-use programs and how they take the sustainability lessons they learn in schools home to their parents and community. A Michael Evans, National Organiser AESA c www.educationforsustainability.org.au The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) has calculated the gender pay gap based on average weekly ordinary time earnings for men and women. The average weekly earnings of women working full-time were $1,186.90 per week or $250.50 per week less than men, who earned an average weekly wage of $1,437.40 per week. Over the course of a year, this difference would add up to $13,026. WA has the largest gender pay gap at 25.8%, while the ACT has the lowest at 12.0%. A For more information, see:
Push to improve gender equity at work, p. 30
JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
Above: Professor Ian Lowe at the AESA launch in Canberra. Photo: Chris Pearce
Researching conflict in the workplace
TEU Queensland Division is supporting researchers at Griffith and Bond University who are examining conflict in the workplace, and urges members to take part. This is one key way you can assist to address anti-social behaviours in Australian workplaces.
Participation involves the completion of an anonymous 15 min. (possibly longer depending on responses) online survey. You can complete the survey anytime between now and the end of October. Feel free to tell your friends and colleagues within the higher education sector who may be interested in participating. Details of the survey, including consent, confidentiality, and the project’s ethics approvals, can be found at the link below. If you have any questions about this research please contact either Dr Sara Branch (email@example.com) or Dr Jane Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org). A c www.griffith.edu.au/professional-page/ sara-branch
New NTEU Branch for staff at research institutes in Victoria
Navitas staff get own NTEU Branch
TEU has recently established a Research Institutes Branch, recognising the distinct nature of the workforce in the sector, its growing size and the community of interest amongst workers within it.
The new Branch encompasses employees of those research institutes in Victoria which are separate employers to universities. Therefore research employees working within the universities, either in faculties or in research centres, remain within the university Branches. Research institutes constitute a growing industry in which we already have a sufficient core of members to provide the basis for an effective Branch, and where there is substantial scope for expansion, both in the range of institutes where we could recruit new members, and in expanding our membership base at those places where we already have a presence. NTEU Victorian Division currently has 100 members across seven research institutes. As it happens, they are all medical or health research institutes, and our membership includes both academics and general staff. We have bargained for Agreements at four of these.
Reasons for establishing the Branch First, there is a commonality of interest and industrial experience between staff in these institutes that is stronger than the link they share with university Branches by virtue of
Since 1958, the Australian Universities’ Review has been encouraging debate and discussion about issues in higher education and its contribution to Australian public life.
the fact that their research institute is auspiced by, or associated with, that university. Recognising this common interest and providing a Branch through which it can be expressed will enable serious campaigning and organising around the issues of concern to research institute staff – issues which tend to be swamped in the workload and campaign priorities of the university Branches. Second, staff in the stand-alone research institutions are not directly interested in the majority of the business done by the university Branches – they are not affected by the university Enterprise Agreements or policies, they are almost never mentioned in Branch publications, they are generally separately located. As a result, they do not engage with the Branches they are currently members of. They do not participate in Branch, Division or National elected structures. Third, this is a growing area of employment. It would be of great benefit to the NTEU if we intend to actively recruit and organise in these workplaces, to present to potential members their own Branch which understands and reflects the interests of research institute staff. Any members working in research institutes who are interested in getting involved in the Research Institutes Branch should contact the Victorian Division. A Research Institutes c www.nteu.org.au/resinstitutes vol. 53,
no. 2, 201 1 ISSN 0818–8
Published by NTEU
Australia n Unive rsities’Re view
new national Navitas Branch has been established to represent the interests of NTEU members working for entities owned and/or operated by Australia’s largest private provider of higher education programs.
Navitas presently offers such programs in association with 11 public universities in Australia. NTEU members employed at Navitas workplaces now have the opportunity to elect their own Branch President (and other representatives) and for the first time will be given separate representation at the annual NTEU National Council Meeting. Nomination forms for these positions have recently been sent to all eligible members. The establishment of the new national Navitas Branch is recognition that members working for geographically dispersed Navitas businesses face particular challenges that can only be overcome via a coordinated industrial and professional strategy. The new Branch will provide a framework to facilitate communication between members on such matters as the refusal of Navitas to provide industry-standard 17% employer superannuation contributions and their overwhelming reliance on insecure casual employment. A Navitas Branch c www.nteu.org.au/navitas
Want to receive your own copy of AUR? AUR is published twice a year by the NTEU. NTEU members are entitled to receive a free subscription on an opt-in basis – so you need to let us know. If you are an NTEU member and would like to receive AUR, please email email@example.com
AUR is listed on the DEEWR register of refereed journals.
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
Fighting huge cuts at ANU
n April, the Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University (ANU) announced a plan to slash up to 150 jobs and cut $40 million from the University budget. Extraordinarily, this was not because the ANU was in deficit, but because Vice-Chancellor Ian Young wants a bigger annual budget surplus than the (pessimistically) projected $14 million.
A rapidly arranged NTEU mass meeting of over 200 members condemned the cuts, as did the ANU Students’ Association. Over 400 staff and students then rallied in protest and marched on the ANU Chancelry. Many people wrote to the Vice-Chancellor, whose preferred consultation method appears to be an email. The campaign against the cuts gained extensive coverage in both ACT and national media. On 30 April, Ian Young announced that he had responded to protests and consultation by pulling back very significantly on his original plans. Unlike Sydney University’s Michael Spence, Ian Young did consult staff before implementing his plan and the plan changed as a result of it. Nonetheless, the Vice-Chancellor still says he intends to cut his budget by $40 million, but to do this over three years rather than a few months. Staff cuts are to be achieved through attrition, early retirement agreements and voluntary redundancy, whereas the original plan involved up to 150 forced retrenchments. The Vice-Chancellor says he will consult heads of Colleges to determine areas that are to be cut. It is clear that NTEU members at the ANU will need to be ready to defend their areas of work from cuts driven simply by the desire for a larger surplus.
To explain the embarrassing contradiction with its earlier announcement that forced redundancies would be avoided, management claimed the School of Music cuts were a separate issue that had been in planning for years.
Spill and fill averted The Union immediately lodged a dispute about the proposed ‘spill and fill’ redundancy procedure, and the announcement of redundancies without prior consultation with staff. These both breached the ANU Enterprise Agreement. We secured ANU management’s agreement that the change proposal must be managed according to the Agreement. This meant redundancies could not occur until management had genuinely consulted, and shown for each position that it was actually redundant. The University must then attempt to redeploy any redundant staff.
Massive, Canberra-wide protest NTEU, students and the Canberra community have vehemently protested the proposed cuts and sacking of staff. Massive musical protests compellingly displayed the extraordinary quality of the School of Music’s staff and students, who are a crucial, central part of the musical life of Canberra. This is why community members joined NTEU members and ANU students in a protest rally of over a thousand people. It is why a ‘Support Our School’ concert overflowed the University’s Llewellyn Hall, breaking attendance records. A petition against the cuts with 25,000 signatures was presented to the ANU Council and the Federal Parliament, and many wrote passionate, cogently argued submissions to the Vice-Chancellor. Nonetheless, ANU Council at its latest meeting voted to back the Vice-Chancellor’s change process. An NTEU mass meeting has voted unanimously in support of further action to save the school if needed. At press time, Ian Young has not announced his final decision about School of Music cuts. To ignore the overwhelming community horror at his plan would show extraordinary arrogance, and make it clear that all staff at the ANU must be prepared for hard battles against economic rationalist decisions based on highly questionable accounting. A Jane Maze, ACT Division Organiser
Turning on the School of Music Within days of this backdown, ANU management shocked the campus by announcing a spill of all thirty-two positions in the School of Music. Sacked academic and general staff were to be invited to express interest in being rehired in a restructured School with twelve fewer positions and a vastly different curriculum. A significant amount of teaching was to be outsourced. JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
NTEU members, students and the Canberra community protesting the proposed cuts and sacking of staff. Photo Jane Maze 7
National survey reveals a casual academic workforce struggling to University Casual Academic Staff make a living and do their job Are you getting paid your fair share?
national survey of casual academic staff in Australian universities has revealed a workforce struggling to make a living and do their job with the resources they are given.
Nearly 1500 individuals responded to the NTEU’s survey conducted earlier this year. ‘The findings from this survey, one of the largest undertaken in Australia, are extremely alarming,’ said Jeannie Rea, NTEU National President. The survey showed that large numbers of casual academics are struggling to put together an income, with many having more than one appointment and a significant number having as many as four separate jobs in multiple universities.
The majority of survey respondents work over and above what they are paid for. Many indicated they did not have access to the resources necessary to do their job properly. ‘This is of particular concern given that more than half of all undergraduate teaching in our universities is carried out by casual academic staff. This has implications for the quality of undergraduate education,’ said Ms Rea. The survey also explodes the myth constructed by many in university management, that staff appreciated casual working arrangements because it gives them flexibility. The majority of survey respondents aspire to a full time academic career. Many are trapped, however, in a succession of
Tasmanian Division keeping members informed on UTAS review
n 14 June, NTEU Tasmanian Division notified all members of important information regarding the review being conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) into Professional and Academic Staff operating models at the University of Tasmania. The last few months have been difficult and uncertain for members and other staff at UTAS. In this letter, the NTEU sought to share with members as much information as the Union had about the PwC reviews. NTEU is concerned that UTAS has not been forthcoming in communicating its intentions to staff. Since the announcement of the process in a short email to all staff on 13 March 2012, and in contradiction to the content of that email, there has been no further communication from UTAS management on the progress of the reviews. Furthermore, there has been no
opportunity for staff to make the PwC feel welcome – the reality has been that the PwC personnel have engaged only with senior managers at UTAS, and there has been no contact with staff in any broader sense. NTEU has attended three briefings from UTAS management about the reviews, but the information provided to us has been selective and short in detail. The letter to members contained information the Union had assembled from these briefings, other sources and Right to Information requests. We believe this information is accurate,
Find out by taking the NTEU’s
CASUAL TEACHING & RESEARCH STAFF SURVEY 2012 insecure, stressful, temporary work arrangements that have harmful financial and physical impacts. Ms Rea said ‘I continually hear stories from talented young academics that have left the sector because they have had enough of the stress involved and feel there is no possibility of a stable career in higher education. It’s a major waste of talent which we cannot afford.’ A Michael Evans, National Organiser A briefing paper on results of NTEU’s Casual Teaching and Research Staff Survey 2012 c www.unicasual.org.au /survey2012 although we expect UTAS management to dispute that claim. This is a very important time for our Union, as one of our primary roles is to protect jobs, whether they are Professional Staff, Academic Staff or ELC Teachers. We need to be prepared to protect each other and to stand as one. As well, we must ensure that any change will assist the educational outcomes of our students. Over the next couple of months, Tasmanian members are asked to support NTEU’s campaigns and to attend all the meetings we call, wherever possible. We will ask members to get involved and do whatever they can to defend our university. This will assist in demonstrating our resolve as a Union. NTEU Tasmanian Division will continue to provide members with as much information as possible and look forward to standing with them to protect our university. A Rob Binnie, Industrial Officer View the (major) documents we have received in response to our Right to Information request c http://www.nteu.org.au/tas/article/Letter-toNTEU-members-regarding-PwC-reviews-12914
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
UC members gain genuine consultation and save their program and their jobs
wo days before Christmas 2011, the Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Canberra (UC) told staff in the Japanese program that their course would close due to having insufficient student numbers to provide adequate income.
Fortunately, these staff had a union to defend them against this Scrooge-like action. NTEU pointed out to the Dean that the University was required to carry out the managing change procedures specified by the union-negotiated Enterprise Agreement, including consulting staff. This gained the program a six-month reprieve to allow consultation to occur. The original brief for the review of the decision was very narrow, which made NTEU members in Japanese pessimistic at first about how genuine their chance of influencing the plan would be. This did not deter them from putting together a very strong submission to the review, whose scope was later widened somewhat. In their submission the members disputed management’s representation of the financial position of the program. They also showed that there is a high likelihood of
greater student numbers over the next few years as there is currently a much increased cohort of students studying Japanese at secondary level in the ACT. They outlined the ways the Japanese program contributed to achieving key elements of the University of Canberra’s strategic plan, including its goal of expanding its relationships in East Asia and South Asia, and increased the University’s attractiveness as a student destination. During the consultation period members in Japanese also alerted students and interested community members to the threat to the program. Many of these, including the Japanese Ambassador, wrote or spoke to UC management about the program’s value. NTEU ACT Division also made a submission to the review of the program’s future and supported and advised members throughout the process.
NEW SOUTH WALES
Sydney Branch fighting job cuts
ince November last year, the NTEU has been working hard to stop the University of Sydney management’s proposed job cuts. We have had significant success already in securing the employment of many staff, and the fight continues to save those still targeted for redundancy.
In late May UC management announced that the Japanese program would continue for at least the next three years. If increased student numbers and other curriculumrelated goals are achieved during that time, it will continue indefinitely. Staff are deservedly relieved and celebrating a significant win. Having achieved meaningful consultation through their Union, they used it to achieve a good outcome through the energy, intelligence and commitment of their campaign to save an important program. UC is also to be congratulated on its role in finding a way forward that hopefully will mean this program in a crucial Asian language continues. NTEU member Yuko Kinoshita commented: ‘The review report recognised the importance of Asian language learning and the quality of teaching in our program, referring to our ‘near the top of Faculty of Arts and Design’ Unit Satisfaction Survey results. They also recognised as many as seventeen of our proposed future actions as good ideas and recommended to implement them. We still disagree with many facts and analyses in the report, including the assertion that we have been cross-subsidised. However, we trust the Dean’s commitment in assisting our growth and also in the transparency of the process and information. We are ready to start working for the future of the Japanese program.’ A Jane Maze, ACT Division Organiser
the people who are being forced into redundancies. We are also continuing the fight in enterprise bargaining, as we negotiate for more stringent job security measures. The No Job Cuts campaign has shifted gear, but that is no indication we are giving up the fight; we have achieved a lot already and we will most certainly be keeping the pressure on management. A Michael Thomson, Sydney Branch President
On 7 May, the University sent out forced voluntary redundancy notices to 23 academic members of staff. Even taking into consideration those who have already accepted redundancy packages, the final number of job losses among academic staff will be significantly less than the 150 proposed in November 2011. This is a remarkable win for staff at Sydney University. With the review process still to run its course, we hope that the final number of people losing their jobs will be even lower. We started this campaign to save jobs, and we have saved many. Of course, we hope to save more and will continue to fight for
JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
NTEU congratulates Bronwyn Fredericks on CQU ProVC Indigenous appointment
n April, NTEU National Indigenous Councillor (Qld), Bronwyn Fredericks (right), was appointed to the role of CQUniversity Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) and BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Chair in Indigenous Engagement.
This new senior leadership role is a jointly funded position which will support outreach activities between the University and the Central Queensland region’s numerous Indigenous communities. According to CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Scott Bowman, the position has been a long time in the planning and will form a vital part of CQUniversity’s senior leadership team. ‘CQUniversity is at the forefront of Indigenous tertiary education in Australia, with an Indigenous student population that is already double the level of national targets,’ Professor Bowman said. ‘Professor Fredericks has an exemplary track record in academic leadership and, with her strong ties to Central Queensland, is the perfect person to take on this vital role. I am very much looking forward
to embarking on this exciting journey of improved Indigenous engagement with her at the helm.’ BMA Asset President Stephen Dumble said the company was proud to strengthen its partnership with CQUniversity to help deliver improved education pathways for Indigenous people living and working in the region. Professor Fredericks said she was honoured to be taking up the challenging but exciting new role. ‘I am looking forward to working with Indigenous communities to identify ways to build their capacity in education, employment and general equality of opportunity, and then helping bring this to fruition,’ Professor Fredericks said. ‘I will work to advance CQUniversity’s Indigenous engagement agenda and
A Slavery Free Guarantee
TEU has joined with anti-human trafficking coalition STOP THE TRAFFIK Australia, as well as the ACTU, National Union of Workers and the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union in a campaign to demand that the Australian Government ensure imported goods are free of slavery and human trafficking in their supply chain.
The ‘Slavery Free Guarantee’ campaign follows a two year study, Unshackling Laws Against Slavery, examining the steps other countries around the world are taking to combat slavery and human trafficking in the production of imported goods. Slavery or human trafficking is involved in the production of goods such as cocoa, seafood, bricks, clothing, rugs and palm oil in some countries. These goods are being exported and sold around the world, including in Australia.
endeavour to improve educational outcomes for CQUniversity’s Indigenous student cohort past, present and future. I also intend to build on the excellent platform already established by the University’s Nulloo Yumbah Centre for Indigenous Learning, Spirituality and Research. ‘As the BMA Chair in Indigenous Engagement I hope to expand the University’s outreach efforts with the region’s Indigenous communities, in line with BMA’s Indigenous Relations plan, and help to put in place pathways to education, training and employment opportunities that can lead to a brighter future.’ A Source: CQUniversity - BMA media release 18 April
Australia is lagging behind a number of other developed consumer countries, most notably the US, in taking actions to encourage companies to ensure the goods they import and sell are free from slavery and human trafficking. Australian law recognises that slavery and human trafficking are serious offences wherever they occur but it has failed to offer any incentive for companies selling imported goods in Australia to ensure slavery and human trafficking have not been involved in the production of goods they are importing. The failure to enforce Australian law and of voluntary corporate codes makes Australian consumers complicit in modern day slavery. A Unshackling Laws Against Slavery report c http://stopthetraffik.org.au/take-action/unshackling-laws-against-slavery A petition in support of the campaign c www.change.org/petitions/australian-senate-slavery-free-guarantee
Postcards for the campaign can be ordered by emailing Australia@stopthetraffik.org
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
UPDATE SOUTH AUSTRALIA
SA Health & Medical Research Institute and the implications for SA universities
major construction is underway, along North Terrace Adelaide, opposite the City West campus of the University of South Australia and adjacent to what will become the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.
The building, due to be completed by June 2013, will be the home of the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).
How SAHMRI will operate The following information about SAHMRI explains the scale of the development which is occurring: • The building will cover 25,000 sq m. • Be capable of housing 700 researchers. • Contain a vivarium - an enclosure used for keeping animals in conditions similar to their natural environment for study. • Provide dedicated space for advanced technology facilities including a cyclotron. • Engage in research focused on the areas of cancer; heart disease; healthy mothers, babies and children; nutrition and metabolism; mind and brain; and infection and immunity. • Include PC2 laboratories. • House 9 fully flexible research modules. • Establish a community education pod. As stated in SAHMRI’s 2011 Annual Report, ‘The development of SAHMRI will allow the state to consolidate and enhance its position in the health and medical research sector, nationally and internationally.’ SAHMRI in its public information states that it is ‘an independent organisation... committed to working in partnership with the Government, the universities and the wider health and medical research sector to deliver real health outcomes for patients and the community.’ (SAHMRI News July 2010). Three of the current eight positions on the SAHMRI Board are held by the Universities and occupied by the Flinders Vice-Chancellor, University of SA Vice-Chancellor and the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Adelaide. Additionally, SAHMRI is developing ‘transparent partnership agreements with the JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
three SA universities and the SA Government.’ The purpose of these agreements ‘is to actively engage with research groups and organisational entities outside the flagship research facility with the purpose of developing and fostering collaboration across organisational boundaries.’ Clearly then cooperation and collaboration are guiding principles in the formation of SAHMRI, which was established to ‘assist South Australia in maintaining and increasing its share of national research funding.’
Where will the 700 SAHMRI researchers come from? It can be assumed that some researchers currently employed in the SA universities may well end up working for SAHMRI. What then are the implications for these universities? As members may be aware, in the last round of enterprise bargaining, one of the stated NTEU national aims was to improve the employment conditions for research staff at the Go8s and other research intensive universities. Prior to that round, research staff typically experienced high levels of job insecurity,
minimum superannuation and less favourable overall employment conditions e.g. restricted access to promotion. While the bargaining round did achieve improvements for research staff, including at Adelaide and Flinders Universities, research staff overall still experience less favourable employment conditions compared with their teaching and research or professional staff equivalents. It is worth noting that the next round of enterprise bargaining in SA will commence at about the time the SAHMRI building is officially opened. It may well be in the interests of the Universities to ensure that the conditions of employment for their researchers are improved as a retention strategy when competing with SAHMRI. If further improvements do not occur, then the Universities risk losing their most experienced researchers to the ‘state of the art’ facility on North Terrace.
Implications for NTEU coverage Industrially, the NTEU is now considering the issue of coverage of staff employed by SAHMRI. The Union nationally is currently party to seven Enterprise Agreements which cover the work of staff in research institutes around Australia e.g. Howard Florey Institute, Menzies School of Health Research, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. The advent of SAHMRI produces opportunities and challenges for both the NTEU and the SA Universities over the next few years. A Kathy Harrington, Industrial Officer, SA Division 3D marketing rendering of SAHMRI by Scharp. Architect: Woods Bagot. Source: www.scharp.com.au/major-projects/sahmri
Indigenous Forum 2012 I
ndigenous delegates from universities around the country participated in the annual NTEU Indigenous Forum on 26–27 May 2012 at the NTEU National Office in Melbourne.
al n io 12 at 20 N y U Ma TE 7 N -2 26
Forum warmly welcomed our internaFirst held in 1999, Indigenous Forum is a tional guests from the Maori caucus of the core conference of the NTEU informing the Tertiary Education Union in New Zealand. Union of the current priorities of Indigenous Te Pou Tuarā (Māori Officer), Lee Cooper members, as well as enabling delegates to and Tumu Āwhina on Te Toi Ahurangi & exchange experiences, to network and to Academic Advisor (Māori), Student Support gain strength from one another. Services, James (Hēmi) Houkāmau gave The theme for Forum 2012 was ‘Bargaining – Activism and Outcomes’, with the focus centred upon bargaining and reinforcing the Round 5 Indiges m enous claims. Forum delegates also o c discussed recommendations and outut O comes from the report I’m Not a Racist, & But... and how the recommendations m is pertain to Round 6 Bargaining. iv t Delegates were welcomed to Ac g country by respected Boonerwrung in Elder, Aunty Carolyn Briggs. Aunty in Carolyn reminded delegates of a the need to continue our imporrg tant work, particularly the need to a B maintain and strengthen the Indigenous employment outcomes for Round 6. NTEU National President, Jeannie Rea and General Secretary, Grahame McCulloch addressed delegates on the theme and work undertaken by the Union, particularly the outcomes from the previous bargaining round, the I’m Not a Racist, But... report and the Branch survey on the implementation of clauses in Round 5. Forum delegates an overview of the current NTEU Indigenous Policy Committee (IPC) political climate and issues for Māori higher Chair, Jillian Miller and Deputy Chair, Terry education staff in New Zealand/Aotearoa. Mason gave an overview of the work undertaken by the Union over the previous twelve month period and discussed the work to be completed in the lead up to the 2012 National Council meeting in October. Delegates participated in a yarn session where they introduced themselves and disThe National Indigenous Officer gave an cussed the issues of importance at their instioverview to Forum delegates of the outtution, as well as sharing stories with a focus comes from the Branch survey on impleon seeking appropriate solutions to address menting and enforcing Indigenous Clauses issues raised. from Round 5. us
Indigenous Business Review of Round 5 Bargaining
In particular, outcomes from the survey found: • Only 43.2% of NTEU Branches responded to the survey request. • 62.5% of University Collective Agreements have percentage based Indigenous employment targets. • 68.8% of Indigenous employment targets in Collective Agreements replicate the employment targets in university Indigenous Employment Strategies. • 37.5% of universities have Reconciliation Action Plans. • 93.8% of Round 5 Collective Agreements have Cultural/Ceremonial Leave clauses. • 18.8% of universities do not have current operational Indigenous Employment Committees. • 12.5% of universities do not have Indigenous Employment Coordinators. • Of those universities that have Indigenous Employment Coordinators, 76.9% were physically located in the universities Human Resources department. • 50.0% of universities have been rated as having good compliance with implementing their Round 5 Indigenous employment clause. • 18.8% of Branches have considered notifying a dispute on failure to comply with their Indigenous Employment Clause. • Only 6.3% of Branches consider there to be strong grounds to notify a dispute. Findings from the Branch survey have been useful in identifying areas that require strengthening in the next round.
NTEU Elections 2012 Forum delegates were informed that elections for NTEU Branch, Division and National positions would be held in June and that they are encouraged to stand for elected positions. The link to Round 6 bargaining and the role of elected officials was clearly outlined to delegates, in seeking to negotiate the best Indigenous employment clause at all institutions – we need Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members at the bargaining table!
I’m Not a Racist, But... To finalise day one at Forum 2012, delegates were given an overview of the work undertaken on implementing the recommendaNTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
INDIGENOUS NEWS tions from I’m Not a Racist, But... and how these recommendations pertain to Round 6 bargaining. The discussions had a particular focus on bolstering the reporting process around university policies on anti-discrimination and racism. The link to bargaining was also explored, particularly in the local context.
Workshop On the second day, delegates participated in a group workshop conducted by Ken McAlpine, Senior Industrial Officer. The workshop discussed Bargaining Strategy and Negotiations with a view to informing, encouraging and empowering delegates to participate in negotiations in the upcoming bargaining round. Delegates were thankful for the bargaining workshop, in particular the presentation and discussion by Ken McAlpine, assisted by Linda Gale from the Victorian Division.
Recommendations for Round 6 Bargaining Forum delegates endorsed the following amendments to the National Indigenous claim and strategy for the next Bargaining round: • Indigenous Employment Target: All Indigenous employment targets in the next round must be numeric rather than percentage based targets. • Bargaining Strategy: That the Indigenous employment claim is the first item to be negotiated at all institutions. This strategic amendment will ensure that: • Negotiations on the Indigenous employment claim follow wider Union protocol on Indigenous business; and • Should there be difficulties in negotiating the claim, this strategy will ensure a campaign/action can be taken by the Branch membership as part of the wider bargaining strategy. The IPC and Indigenous Unit sincerely thank our guests, speakers and delegates to Forum 2012. We look forward to next year’s Forum in May 2013. A Adam Frogley, National Indigenous Coordinator c www.nteu.org.au/indigenous
‘I’m Not A Racist, But...’ is available for free download c www.nteu.org.au/indigenous/publications JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
Expanding Conversations forum F
ollowing the release of the I’m Not a Racist, But... report in November 2011, the NTEU National President, Jeannie Rea and the National Indigenous Coordinator, Adam Frogley, were invited to present at the ‘Expanding Conversations’ forum, hosted by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and the Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) on 15 May in Sydney.
The ‘Expanding Conversations’ forum is an initiative of the AHRC and CHASS and this inaugural seminar explored the current research and projects that have been undertaken by a wide range of individuals and organisations to tackle racism in Australian society. Jeannie Rea and Adam Frogley jointly presented the findings from the I’m Not a Racist, But... report and discussed how the findings show that racism and racial discrimination are barriers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people wanting to gain qualifications and/or work in the Australian higher education sector. They also explained how the recommendations from the report seek to achieve change, particularly in a university policy and procedural context. Recommendation two from the I’m Not a Racist, But... report instructs the Union to lobby the Commonwealth and State/Territory Governments to examine detailed strategies and institute a public campaign to tackle racial discrimination in Australian society. In line with this recommendation, outcomes from the one day forum will inform the work of the AHRC in their campaign to develop and implement a National Anti-Racism Strategy. The National Anti-Racism Strategy is long overdue. When implemented, it is
National Anti-Raci sm Partnership and Strategy
hoped the Strategy will challenge people’s perceptions of what racism is and how it affects members of our diverse, multicultural community. NTEU will continue to support the Commission in their efforts to achieve social change and address racism in all forms. The Anti-Racism Strategy will be launched publicly in July this year, with the implementation of the strategy to be rolled out over a three year period. A AHRC Anti-Racism Strategy c www.humanrights.gov.au/antiracism
See also: NTEU congratulates Bronwyn Fredericks on CQU ProVC Indigenous appointment p.10 Indigenous education & employment take a battering in Victorian TAFE funding cuts p.16 13
Ted deals TAFE a body blow T
he budget cuts to TAFE by the Victorian Coalition Government of Ted Baillieu represent the largest funding cut in the history of the sector, $300 million over the next three years. Combined with the policy of putting public TAFEs on an equal footing with private providers, TAFE is effectively being privatised.
As a result of these cuts, many courses will be closed. Some TAFEs will be forced to amalgamate – some may even be forced to close. As many as 2000 jobs will be lost. Regional communities in particular will be hit hard by job losses and reduction in course options. There has been no consultation or public mandate to move to a de facto privatisation of public TAFEs.
Baillieu’s cuts The basic elements of the Government’s policies are: • Removal of the price differential between TAFE and private providers. TAFE will be competing in the marketplace alongside private providers, in most cases against lower wages and working conditions, poorer amenities and student services. • Removal of payments to TAFE Institutes that covered their obligations as publicly owned providers of training, including their community service obligations. Student services, such as libraries, student support, disability support will be cut. • Removal of regional differential funding to TAFE Institutes such as Gordon Institute. • There will be no additional payments to cover wage increases or facilities maintenance (from 1 January 2013). • 80% of courses have had their hourly subsidy reduced, some dramatically. Each course will now have specific subsidy rates against them, based on a Government assessment of ‘public value’. • Funding per course will also vary depending on where it is delivered and how. 14
• Student fees will rise to cover some of the loss of funding. Fee caps have been removed.
Unions leap into action NTEU has been working closely with the Australian Education Union (AEU) to run rallies in regional centres, following a very successful rally in Melbourne. A total of ten regional rallies have been held. The rallies have been very successful, with crowds of over 1000 at both Ballarat and Geelong. NTEU has received extensive media coverage and gathered broad regional community and industry support across the state. Unfortunately, TAFE management has also responded quickly, cutting courses and already issuing redundancy notices to PACCT staff, including many NTEU members.
National risks While the cuts to TAFE are a direct result of Victorian Government decisions, the move to a free market system is supported by the Commonwealth and other state governments. The real risk for the VET sector in other States is that the Victorian model will be adopted in whole or in part in other parts of the country. What is needed now is a concerted national campaign against the creeping privatisation of vocational education and training. A Colin Long, Victorian Division Secretary NTEU TAFE Branch c www.nteu.org.au/tafe Tafe4All c www.tafe4all.org.au NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
Confirmed cuts to TAFE as of 18 June 2012 Advance TAFE
Significant redundancies and course cuts expected. Some campuses under threat.
$8-9 million budget cut. 120 jobs to go. Course cuts expected â€“ the Echuca-based Certificate III hairdressing apprenticeship has been axed.
Box Hill Institute
$24 million funding cut. Up to 200 redundancies. Course cuts expected, fees to increase.
$28 million budget cut. Significant redundancies expected. Course cuts expected.
$10 million budget cut. Up to 100 redundancies expected. Under threat: Morwell and Leongatha campuses, hospitality, art, design, sport, recreation, retail and music courses. Fee increases expected by 2013.
$14.6 million cut. Course cuts. Enrolments not being taken for 9 distance education courses currently offered by Instituteâ€™s Centre for Essential Business Skills. Redundancies expected.
No information available
$30 million budget cut. Redundancies expected. Diploma fees to increase from $2500 to $5000 as of 2013. Viability of institution under threat.
$25 million funding cut. Up to 205 jobs could go by early next year. Up to 52 courses to be cut, including Australian Sign Language course, the only one of its kind in Victoria and eastern Australia.
$25 million budget cut. Up to a hundred jobs cut. As many as 50 courses to be scrapped. Fee rises of up to five times more current levels. Costs of a diploma degree could rise to $4000 in 2013.
Worst hit areas: certificate level courses in hospitality, business, customer contact, fitness and financial administration.
South West Institute
$11.5 million budget cut. 80% courses will have reduced government subsidies. 43 EFT positions already cut, more expected next year. Services expected to be cut. Increases in courses costs of between 50-400%. 169 courses to be cut.
$6.5 million budget cut. 26 redundancies announced so far.
$5.8 million funding cut.
$7 million budget cut. Redundancies expected.
Confirmed cuts to dual sector institutions University of Ballarat
$19 million (40%) cut in government funding. Up to 60 courses at risk, Ballarat arts school under threat. Horsham campus could be seriously impacted with business, racing certificates to possibly go. Courses could also be cut at Stawall campus. Redundancies expected.
$20 million budget cut to TAFE operations. Job cuts expected. International Centre of Graphic Technology to be closed (only TAFE training centre in Victorian where apprentices can prepare for printing career).
$35 million budget cut in 2013 to TAFE operations. Significant flow-on impact to the pipeline of TAFE students who articulate into higher education.
$34 million budget cut to TAFE operations. 50 positions being made redundant in Technical Trades Innovation and Workforce Development. More jobs to go by the end of the year. Fee hikes of up to 320% expected. 100 courses to be cut, including sports and fitness, hospitality, business and financial services.
Helen Brady and Nicole Bremner from GippsTAFE at the Traralgon TAFE rally on 5 June 2012. Photos: Justin Westgate JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
Indigenous education & employment take a battering in Victorian TAFE funding cuts T
he Victorian State Government’s announcement to significantly reduce funding for TAFE providers has had an enormous impact upon the sector, with repercussions from this draconian decision resonating across the State.
Less reported in the mainstream media is the effect these wide ranging funding cuts will have upon Victorian Aboriginal students, staff and their communities. To understand the effects of the budget cuts on community, we need to explore the relationship between TAFE providers and the Victorian Aboriginal community and the education outcomes achieved through this relationship. In Victoria, the peak Indigenous education body is the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI). VAEAI is driven by a simple yet important philosophy – Koorie education is birth to death; and VAEAI’s achievements since it was established in 1976 adhere strictly to this value. VAEAI’s Wurreker Strategy, launched in July 2000, was developed after extensive consultation with the Indigenous community. The Wurreker Strategy was implemented, in part, to address the training needs and aspirations of Koorie people. Before this time, the VET/ TAFE sector providers in Victoria were offering programs that were inconsistent with employment opportunities available to Koories,
nor were they exploring or implementing clear pathways from training to employment. The Wurreker Strategy recognises that the Victorian Indigenous community is best placed to make decisions on training needs and priorities. Today Wurreker is implemented and funded through the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) and Skills Victoria.
Indigenous student engagement with TAFE Since the Wurreker Strategy was introduced there have been major outcomes and improvements for Indigenous students in vocational education and training. To illustrate this: • In 2003 there were approximately 3,500 Indigenous students enrolled in VET courses; in 2010 enrolments had grown to 6,000. • In 2010, approximately 50% of Indigenous student enrolments were in the Certificate II and Certificate III levels.
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
TAFE • The greatest age participation rate for Indigenous students enrolled in VET (approximately 1,500 students) were in the 15 to 19 year old age bracket, the second highest was for students in the 20 to 24 year old age bracket. • For Indigenous students who have disengaged from secondary school (and not completed Year 12) there has been steady growth in Certificate II level courses and above. For the period 2008 to 2010, enrolments from this group have increased from approximately 570 enrolments to around 770 enrolments. • 52% of Indigenous VET students are from regional areas, while 48% are from the metropolitan area. • VET Indigenous student completion rates are also increasing from 258 in 1998 to 976 in 2008.
Indigenous Staff employed at TAFE providers In 2011 it was reported that a total of 103 Indigenous staff were employed in TAFE across a range of roles; this figure represents 0.4% of all Victorian TAFE staff. The TAFE Directors Association (TDA) and Victorian TAFE Association (VTA) wrote in a submission to the 2011 Productivity Commission’s Draft Research Report on the Vocational Education and Training Workforce, that they ‘agree with the sentiment/intention of this recommendation (Recommendation 8.5 to increase the number of Indigenous staff working in the Victorian TAFE sector) but we recognise the difficulties in attracting and retaining Indigenous staff members.’ The only reasonable assumption that can be drawn from the recently announced funding cuts, is that Indigenous student and staffing numbers will be significantly affected and this will only amplify the disparity between the Wurreker goals for Indigenous student outcomes and exacerbate the current difficulties experienced by TAFEs, as identified by the TDA and VTA, to increase the number of Indigenous staff in the TAFE sector. As identified above, 52% of Indigenous student enrolments into VET courses originate from regional areas of Victoria. For Indigenous communities already struggling with limited employment opportunities in these areas, students and staff outside the metropolitan area will feel the brunt of the funding cuts and will have little to no options for technical and further education or pathways from TAFE to higher education. The vocational education and training system in Victoria has proven to be the mainstay further education option for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. With an estimated initial loss of $300m annually, Victorian TAFE providers will need to explore a wide range of cost cutting options to remain financially viable. These options will impact Indigenous students, staff and the community significantly. The relationship between TAFE providers, Koorie students, staff and community has been built through the vital, ongoing work of VAEAI and the goals of the Wurreker Strategy. While the Victorian State Government is determined to implement these cuts regardless of the consequences, the only outcome from the funding cuts will be reduced opportunities and diminished outcomes – a cut financially and a cut to the hopes and aspirations for all members of the Victorian Indigenous community. A Adam Frogley, National Indigenous Coordinator Photos: Justin Westgate JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
Bargaining Conference sets agenda for Round 6
ound Six of university enterprise bargaining is underway following a successful meeting of approximately eighty delegates from across NTEU’s university branches to debate key strategies and claims. The NTEU Bargaining Forum, held on 15-16 June, endorsed a bargaining strategy focussed on academic and general staff workloads, general staff career development and tackling the casualisation of university teaching.
The Union’s bargaining resolution was unanimously adopted following robust debate over proposed amendments to an Optional Individual Work Value Advancement claim for general staff and the proposed New Academic Career Entry and Work Structures (in lieu of Casual Employment). While major amendments were narrowly lost, many others that strengthened the initial draft proposals were incorporated into the resolution. (See accompanying articles on the general and academic staff core claims.) One of the Union’s key bargaining claims is the creation of 2000 new, ongoing jobs for casual academics. The new positions, to be known as ‘scholarly teaching fellows’, will spend up to 70 per cent of their time teaching. They are an attempt by the Union to provide opportunities for career advancement for younger academics locked out of the system, and reduce the unacceptably high levels of causal employment.
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‘Over half of academic teaching in universities is now undertaken by people paid by the hour,’ said NTEU President, Jeannie Rea. ‘This growth in casualisation is the dirty secret of Australian higher education, which now threatens to undermine the quality of our university system. No matter how hard these causal staff work, and we know they are very committed, they cannot provide the same level of level of assistance to students as their full-time counterparts.’ Other major claims agreed on at the Bargaining Forum include: • Improved career progression and classification procedures for general and professional staff. This is in recognition of the increasing amount and complexity of work faced by professional staff. • Further increases in Indigenous employment based on binding Indigenous employment strategies and targets. • Better workload arrangements for academic staff with a particular focus on capping excess teaching loads, protecting research opportunities and reducing exceptional levels of workload stress. • Provision for employees who are dealing with the consequences of domestic violence. • A competitive salary rise which takes account of movements in comparable labour markets, actual and prospective increases in the cost of living and the large and continuing uncompensated productivity gains associated with dramatic increases in student enrolments without corresponding increases in staffing numbers. • The protection of existing employment conditions. With the majority of the existing three-year enterprise agreements set to expire in the coming months, the Union will also be asking the nation’s 39 Vice-Chancellors to sign up to four year agreements expiring in 2016. This is designed to provide a measure of stability for universities and firewall future enterprise bargaining negotiations as much as possible from anti-union interference from a potential future Coalition Government. ‘We understand the financial health of individual institutions differs across the higher education sector,’ said Rea. ‘But as successful campaigns against staff cuts at institutions like the Australian National University and University of Sydney have proven, management decisions regarding what is and is not possible can be successfully challenged. We believe not only can universities choose to meet these claims, it is in their interests to do so to ensure their most valuable resource, their staff, get the respect, recognition and reward they deserve.’ A Andrew Nette, NTEU Media Officer Opposite: Aunty Carolyn Briggs delivers the Conference Welcome to Land. Photo: Paul Clifton
JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
Key academic claim: Control workloads and create new jobs A
t the NTEU Bargaining Forum, delegates from every university made a serious commitment to reducing the unacceptably high levels of casualisation of teaching across Australian universities. Following vigorous debate and amendments to the draft proposal, it was agreed to seek the creation of 2000 new continuing entry level academic jobs during this round of enterprise bargaining.
With the reality that over half of undergraduate teaching is now done by casual academics employed only to teach, the NTEU is challenging universities to create decent academic jobs that provide security and career entry to the next generation of academics. Currently, 20 per cent of the academic workforce is casually employed. According to the NTEU’s recent survey of casual academics, sixty per cent of respondents had been working casually for more than three years. More than ten per cent had been working casually for ten years. Sessional tutoring is no longer the path to academic job. Rather, as time goes on the chance of getting a proper academic job diminishes. NTEU could have demanded and negotiated yet again for the conversion of casuals and the expansion of the Early Career Development Fellowships. While we will seek to strengthen these clauses, which have experienced some success at some universities, they have not really tackled the rapid rise in casualisation. Universities claim that they have resorted to casualising teaching for financial reasons. Despite advocacy by the NTEU and the sector, the current Federal Government still refuses to commit to implementing the Bradley Report recommendation of a conservative 10% increase in base student funding. However, university managements do make their own decisions upon how they spend their budgets. At the same time as they claim concern with ensuring that academics are engaged in teaching continued over page...
Key academic claim: Control workloads and create new jobs ...continued from previous page and research, universities have created a massive ghetto of casual teaching-only academics. The proposed Scholarly Teaching Fellows (STF) ‘will usually be teaching focused positions, with a maximum teaching load of up to 70%, with remaining time being available for other activities (including an entitlement of 20% for scholarship and/or research). The functions of these positions will be properly defined in the Agreement’. There is an understandable nervousness that these positions will be teaching focussed in a climate where university managements are pushing to re-classify academics into teaching focused positions. However, there are already provisions for teaching focussed positions in some Agreements and also in some workload models. A new entry level category of STF could better contain the current creep towards teaching focussed positions. The proposal is to create positions equal to 20% of the EFT for casual academics engaged in teaching at the University (according to the higher of the current ‘estimated casual’ numbers and the previous ‘actual casual’ numbers reported to DEEWR). The number of positions claimed will vary between universities due to varying levels of casualisation. The objective is to permanently reduce casual academic teaching employment and replace it with permanent positions. Commencing at the PhD point, entrants would access the incremental range of 5 steps in the existing structure, and there will be a capacity for possible access to the full Level B range following a career review in the first 3 years’ of appointment. The claim goes on to detail: ‘The teaching duties of these positions would be made up of no less than 80% of the work previously done by casual employees, and be continuing appointments, either full or part time. The duties of an employee who has been made redundant (voluntary or otherwise) cannot be allocated to these new positions within 3 years of the redundancy.’ ‘These positions should be available on an open and competitive basis to any person who has had at least one year’s academic employment experience in an Australian university (but not including a previous or current continuing academic appointment).’ ‘It will also require a comprehensive workload framework which: 1. Protects and strengthens limits on teaching and teaching related duties, particularly for the large number of academic staff with teaching and research responsibilities. 2. Provides job security protection for current and future academic staff who wish to focus on scholarly teaching, and 3. Prohibits the advertising of other new positions, or existing or vacant teaching and research positions, as teaching focused positions.’ This proposal is not without risks, as it may introduce further challenges to the balance between teaching and research for current and future appointments at all levels of the academic structure. However, we must intervene to reduce the casualisation of academic teaching before it becomes the dominant form of academic teaching and thus undermines the integrity of the academic profession.
Strengthened regulation of academic workloads Over the past rounds of enterprise bargaining the NTEU has sought to regulate excessive academic workloads through better identifying and capturing the time or intensity involved in the various tasks, especially those involved in teaching and teaching related duties and the service/administrative components. Research time has tended to be a reward for past measurable and income accruing research outputs. With the continuing use of the ERA rankings or a local version, many academics find meeting their research targets almost impossible and are thus constantly anxious about their performance appraisals. The workload models have not secured research time for many academics. Research time has to grabbed here and there – and for many is only possible in their own time. While some universities have developed models considered reasonably fair and accountable, most academic staff believe they do not work fairly across the workforce and have found that their workload has just increased, sometimes to unmanageable and highly stressful levels. One of the realities of increased workloads is the work that should be spread amongst colleagues. But this does not work when the colleagues are casuals. A whole raft of activities still considered to be part of an academic’s role including sitting on progress and discipline boards, faculty and academic boards, course approvals committees, or school examination boards, school visits, running disciplinary associations, journal editorship, peer reviewing, conference organising, consulting with industry, providing expert opinion to boards or courts, even providing a second opinion for colleague on an examination, thesis draft or journal article are now even more time consuming as they are shared between fewer academics. There is not even time to mentor new colleagues, when they are only around a few hours a week during teaching time. The Bargaining Forum agreed that the objective in this round must be better workload arrangements for academic staff with a particular focus on capping excess teaching loads, protecting research opportunities and reducing exceptional levels of workload stress. Therefore, the claim is for ‘an effective and quantifiable periodic cap on the hours to be worked in teaching and related duties or on measurable student load, based on a fair average assessment of the time associated with those teaching responsibilities, and with appropriate adjustments for leave, significant other allocated duties, and excess-carry-over arrangements, and a limit or limits on the period during which an employee can be required to teach.’ At their core, both these claims on controlling workloads and reducing casualisation are about attracting and retaining academic staff to ensure the ongoing quality and reputation of Australian universities nationally and internationally. A Jeannie Rea, National President
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
General & Professional Staff bargaining claim R
espect, Recognition and Reward. These are the three Rs at the centre of the Union’s General and Professional Staff bargaining agenda. Respect for the work that general and professional staff do, recognition of the value of that work, and reward for our endeavours.
The bargaining agenda endorsed by NTEU’s National Bargaining Conference is a comprehensive suite of measures to address the key areas of concern for general and professional staff; classifications, career opportunities, staff development and workloads. It was developed by the General Staff Working Party comprising representatives from each Division, after extensive research of available data and a process of consultation and review. Most important was NTEU’s national survey of general staff in late 2011, to which 8000 people responded. This provided real up to date information and commentary from members and non-members on the issues and concerns.
Classifications NTEU will be campaigning for: • Enforceable classification descriptors. • Classification to be independent of budget. • Agreed Position Descriptions reviewed regularly. • Joint union-university classification committees and appeal processes. • Timely consideration of reclassification applications and backdating to the time that the staff member first applied. • Genuinely competitive pay rises.
Careers On Career opportunities, NTEU will be campaigning for: • A staff mobility program and secondment register. • All short term vacancies to be advertised as a secondment opportunity first. • All longer term vacancies to be advertised internally first and to be given to internal applicants who meet the selection criteria.
JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
• On-going staff having the right to take up a fixed term job without giving up permanency and fixed term staff able to apply for ongoing jobs. On Staff Development our bargaining claims centre upon: • Establishment of a central staff development fund that offers real learning opportunities.
Workloads We believe that it has been too easy for employers to shirk their responsibility to ensure that general and professional staff are working reasonable hours and are compensated for extra time that they are required to spend at work simply to get their jobs done. We will be campaigning to ensure that employers take active steps to ensure general staff workloads are not excessive. At some Branches we will also be bargaining for a novel approach to addressing the problem we would all be familiar with, that many general and professional staff are stuck at the top of their level and despite continuing to acquire skills and develop their abilities the extra value of their work is not rewarded. This is a special case claim that is very much dependent on the circumstances in each Branch. As a general staff member you have an opportunity to help shape the claim at your university and participate in the campaign for better general staff working conditions. You can do so by joining your local NTEU Branch, attending meetings, taking part in campaign activities and making your voice heard. NTEU believes that the shameful lack of investment in their general staff by university managements has gone on for far too long and it is time that general staff receive the respect, the recognition, and the reward that we deserve. A Gabe Gooding, National Vice President (General Staff)
WA Library Forum
Is there a future for libraries and library staff? I
s there are future for libraries? Is there are a future for library staff? These were the two key questions addressed at the first NTEU WA Division Library Forum held at Curtin University in June. Attracting a wide audience of over 70 attendees from the university sector, schools, TAFE and the private sector, the Forum heard from a panel of distinguished speakers in the field of Library and Information services.
Gabe Gooding NTEU Vice President (General Staff)
The Forum started with a moving welcome to country delivered by Len Collard a Noongyar man. Len spoke about the importance of language and learning to the Noongyar culture and explained that the welcome to country is a traditional Aboriginal ceremony that predates European settlement and is now used to form a connection between the first peoples and Australia’s current population. WA Division Secretary Dr Lyn Bloom was honoured to accept the message stick presented to the Forum by Len. National Assistant Secretary Matthew McGowan opened the Forum with observations about the importance of libraries to universities and the Union, and the impact that declining funding is having on the sector.
ity ivers the n u ‘If or, ey’ e do is th y is the k r libra, Librarian y Jenn
Future of Information Services
www.investinuniversities.org.au Authorised by Grahame McCulloch,
General Secretary, National Tertiary
Education Union, 120 Clarendon
St, South Melbourne. Photo: Andrew
Keynote speaker for the Forum was Garry Conroy-Cooper from LINC Tasmania. Garry’s challenging and provocative address covered a wide range of ideas about the future of Information Services including the need to break down barriers within the profession and to ensure that leadership can occur at all levels. Garry challenged the participants to consider whether the word ‘library’ still works for the profession in the digital age. Garry spoke of a future where all delivery is 24/7, where the library is a central and safe social space,
and where qualifications are less important than personal attributes. Barbara Coombes from Charles Sturt University discussed the concepts of digital natives versus digital refugees and suggested that library professionals could best keep up with new technologies on a need to know basis. Disturbingly Barbara reported research that indicates that only 46% of Australians have sufficient literacy and numeracy skills to participate effectively in modern society. She asked how can libraries help with that issue? Jill Benn from UWA observed that libraries are places that ‘set the inner nerd free’ and used the example of the recently constructed UWA Science Library to challenge the need to house collections in the traditional way. Jill suggested that the three key words for Libraries of the Future are ‘priorities, proactive and people’.
Developing resilience In the second session, Stephen McVey from the University of Notre Dame Australia compared the graduate attribute statements of some universities to those required by librarians and suggested that the key is in developing resilience. Stephen argued that we live in a system of constant change and that resilience gives us the ability to adapt and thrive. He suggested that there were key activiNTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
WA Libraries Forum speakers Steve Fleming (Curtin), Stephen McVey (UNDA), NTEU Vice-President (General Staff) Gabe Gooding, Jill Benn (UWA) and Garry Conroy-Cooper (LINC Tasmania). ties that can be undertaken to build resilience including collaboration within and beyond the library, development of a culture of critical thinking, actively mentoring others, reading widely and sharing what we read, to not allow technology to distract us and to take the long view in order to always keep options open that allow us to respond to change. Arguing that there should be a pathway for Library Technicians and Assistants to take up further roles within libraries, Steve Fleming from Curtin University challenged the audi-
ence to answer why there cannot be a pathway into the profession based on skills and experience rather than degree qualifications. Steve used an historical analysis of great periods of change and advancement in human society to postulate what the workplace and workforce of the future may be like. The final speaker, NTEU National Vice President (General Staff ) Gabe Gooding presented key government staffing data on libraries and analysed trends in employment. Gabe illustrated the very gendered nature of employment in university libraries, and used
the data from the recent national survey of general staff to examine and compare the attitudes of Library Assistants and Technicians versus Librarians. The key issues of the need for greater respect and recognition, better career pathways and investment in staff development that occur in the wider general and professional staff population are also keenly felt in Libraries. Gabe spoke of the upcoming bargaining round, and the need for library staff to engage not only within their own university but also with staff from other institutions to promote and advance the key work that library staff do in universities. As Jenny the Librarian says ‘If universities are the door, the Library is the key’. The afternoon concluded with a robust Q&A session that ranged across issues such as the future of the degree entry requirements for Librarians, the feminised profession and the lack of respect on that basis, how to emphasise the importance of libraries including the importance of framing the issues according to the needs of the audience, and how to experiment with knowledge. At the end of a very engaging and stimulating afternoon of discussion many attendees expressed a desire to be involved in the WA Division library staff network. The WA Division is keen to see this initiative spread to other states; see the link below for details. A www.nteu.org.au/wa/libraries
Adventures in reverse psychology
Save the Library. Burn the Books!
he city of Troy, Michigan, US was facing a budget shortfall, and was considering closing the Troy Public Library for lack of funds. Even though the necessary revenues could be raised through a miniscule (0.7%) tax increase, powerful Tea Party groups organised against it.
A vote was scheduled amongst the city’s residents, to shut the library or accept the tax increase, and Leo Burnett Detroit decided to support the library by creating a reverse psychology campaign. Yard signs began appearing that read: ‘Vote to Close Troy Library on August 2nd – Book Burning Party on August 5th.’ No one wants to be a part of a town that burns books, and the outraged citizens of Troy pushed back against the ‘idiotic book burners’ and ultimately supported the tax increase, thus ensuring the library’s survival. A
JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
You Tube "book burning party” c http://youtu.be/nw3zNNO5gX0
RMIT tells staff: Be happy, or else! Melissa Slee NTEU RMIT University Branch President
arlier this year, Senior Managers in RMIT’s Human Resources (HR) made themselves the laughing stock of the sector and the community with their relentless pursuit of a ‘Behavioural Capability Framework’ (BCF). A series of articles and opinion pieces in The Australian, The Age and Campus Review along with on-line blog sites gave RMIT a good shellacking: for deserting the guiding principles of freedom of inquiry and the pursuit of knowledge that should define all universities and for adopting policies akin to ‘self-help gurus and late-night infomercials’ (Jimmy comments The Age, 30 March).
The BCF is an extraordinarily long list of values, attitudes and behaviours that RMIT expects of staff. The BCF urges staff to enthusiastically embrace ‘connectedness’, ‘innovation’ and a ‘commitment to excellence’. Agreeing to the BCF was made compulsory for all staff at RMIT via a newly introduced MyPerformanceMyCareer online system.
roles, where working weeks average about 50 to 60 hours or more, where there’s constant change in procedures, change in IT interfaces, ‘reforms’ in policies and so on, then any moment where we become explicitly aware of the politics of individualising responsibility, can cause people to get pretty upset’.
The real barriers to performance
Boycott the BCF
The BCF is the centrepiece of RMIT’s plans for ‘realising strategy through high performing people’. However, the real barriers to performance are much more fundamental: bad planning and poor resourcing of its core functions of service to students, teaching and research. As Dr Philip Dearman, lecturer in RMIT’s school of Media and Communication, pointed out, ‘The document is just one example of many forms of communication that signal an attempt to very deliberately anchor responsibility for outcomes – for student welfare, for learning outcomes, for research incomes and ‘output’, and so on – to the individual worker. And when you’re in a situation where funding is short, where casual workers now undertake about 40 per cent of teaching
Whilst promoting a ‘shared vision’ for RMIT, HR took the extraordinary measure of taking the NTEU to Fair Work Australia to enforce the BCF on an unwilling staff. In response to NTEU’s popular ‘Beat the BCF’ campaign, RMIT even attempted to use Fair Work Australia to disallow an NTEU meeting and to force the NTEU to direct our members to use the MyPerformanceMyCareer online system. Even Fair Work Australia thought these measures were extreme and refused. Meanwhile, opposition grew among RMIT staff and in the broader community. A large, angry meeting of NTEU members unanimously voted to condemn the BCF as ‘fundamentally flawed’ and expressed outrage at RMIT’s extreme measures to drive it through. A spontane-
perils as well as its plati‘Academia… must embrace the real world, its ation is as varied, creative tudes, and should resist the superficial… educ is the stuff of free speech, and challenging as its subject matter allows; it ormance excellent’ or not enforced happiness by which to measure ‘perf any such peripheral marker’
The Age, editorial 30 March
‘Employees working in the private sector or in gove rnment bureaucracies will be familiar with such bubble-headed managem ent fads but this is a university for heaven’s sake… Far from being a cradle of free-thinking, RMIT has chosen to suspend disbelief and hop aboa rd the bandwagon of management humbuggery’ Leo D’Angelo Fisher, Business Review Weekly
5-11 April 2012
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
y believe attitude can be ‘Do university administrators and managers reall -alley clown smiles and dictated? Who is going to be fooled by sideshow rs of such psychobabble bogus positive emanations? Have the originato by a resolutely grumpy phrases never themselves sat through a lecture in her subject that she academic who happened to be so deeply involved Often. And I loved it.’ wore a face of terrifying concentration? I have. April 2012 Morag Fraser, My Jargon Rules, The Age, 9
ous motion from the floor stating that ‘this meeting of NTEU members has lost confidence in the capacity of RMIT HR senior executives to reflect the values of the university community’ was received with cheers and applause. RMIT senior management claimed that the NTEU only represented a ‘handful of staff’ in opposing the BCF. Yet, in one of the Fair Work Australia hearings, RMIT was forced to admit that only 4% of staff had completed the MyPerformanceMyCareer online module. In subsequent weeks, despite an intimidating email from HR and an official directive from Fair Work Australia, this number only gradually nudged up to 35%.
From the ludicrously ambitious to the downright inane, here are some of our favourite RMIT behavioural expectations:
For supersonic totally excellent excellence ‘Determines the standards that would differentiate and elevate teaching and/or research outcomes beyond internal and external benchmarks of excellent performance’ Level E and HEW 10 staff
Forecasting the future? ‘Forecasts trends and themes to enable more effective or inclusive approaches to solutions’ HEW 8 & 9 ‘Anticipates problems and generates preventative ideas to ensure they do not materialise’ HEW 6 & 7 and Level B/C
Directive to irritate others ‘Encourages others to become enthusiastic and committed to an initiative or task’ Level B/C
Passionate embraces… ‘Displays passion for the task at hand’
RMIT, heading up a project for the Australian Technology Network (ATN) universities, paid HR consultants, Mercer Consulting, $147,895 to develop the BCF. The BCF is part of an overarching project funded under the Workplace Productivity Project (WPP) scheme developed in the final stages of the Howard Government. The main goal of the WPP was to ‘modernise’ human resources in the sector. That is, introduce anti-union, anti-staff practices and discredited corporate mumbo jumbo to the campuses.
Coming to your campus?
‘Embraces the day-to-day challenges of the role’
HEW 5 Level A
‘Drives unwavering commitment and passion for projects and initiatives’ HEW 8 & 9 and Level D
Yoga anyone? ‘Exhibits flexibility while retaining focus on the ultimate goal to overcome challenges’ HEW 6&7
Harder, faster, more!
It is obvious that RMIT was a test case to drive this scheme through onto other campuses. Enormous resources have been poured into the development and implementation of the BCF. RMIT NTEU members have made an important statement that wherever managements attempt to implement this obnoxious scheme they can expect a similar campaign. RMIT NTEU Branch is hopeful that the momentum and awareness generated by the campaign will support our efforts to stop the BCF and to address workloads, staffing levels, casualisation and job security during upcoming collective bargaining. A
‘It’s just managerial trash and there’s nothing more to be said about it, really,’ says (Don) Watson… ‘If I were working in an organisation and this were put in front of me … I would just leave.’ Gabriella Coslovich and Benjamin Preiss, So
Happy Together, The Age, 3 April 2012
JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
BCF speaks for itself…
‘Implements actions to accelerate or enhance progress and results’ Level D
Wot??? ‘Provides a road map to guide others through ambiguity’ Level E ‘Contributes to defining the bigger picture’
HEW 8 & 9
‘Translates the complex analysis of organisational issues to create new concepts or approaches not obvious to others’ Executive
Endurance test… ‘Maintains effort at a consistent level over time’
HEW 3 & 4
‘Maintains optimism & professionalism in all situations’ HEW 6 & 7 ‘Remains committed and effective in the face of setbacks and adversity’ HEW 5
Monitoring impacts of ERA on university staff F
ollowing a motion from National Council last October, the NTEU has begun a project investigating the effects of Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) and recent research quality measures upon university staff involved in academic and research tasks.
Members may remember that in May 2011 Minister Kim Carr abandoned the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) journal rankings for the ERA 2012 exercise, stating at the time that the rankings were being ‘deployed inappropriately within some quarters of the sector’ and in ways that reflected ‘a poor understanding of the actual role of the rankings’. Throughout 2011 the Union continued to hear from members about the use and misuse of journal rankings. Even after its abandonment by the ARC, journal rankings have been utilised in the allocation of academic workloads and the evaluation of staff performance. In some notable instances these misuses were implemented at a university-wide level through proposed workload allocation models. Following Carr’s decision, the NTEU wrote to Dr Margaret Sheil from the Australian Research Council (ARC) advocating that ‘the most robust way for Government to lift confidence would be to support an independent investigation into institutional practices in relation to the management of research, resulting from the 2010 ERA exercise’. The 2012 ERA process is now well-advanced. The ARC’s Research Evaluation Committees (REC) were announced in February and the submission phase for ERA 2012 began in March. ANU’s Dean of Sci-
ence, physicist Professor Aidan Byrne, was recently announced as the new ARC Chief Executive, replacing Dr Margaret Sheil. NTEU recognises this represents an important opportunity to step back and explore what is happening throughout the sector, and to appraise staff perceptions and attitudes, particularly in relation to its implications for the nature of academic work and professional identity. NTEU is currently collecting responses from DVCs Research about the extent to which ERA journal rankings and research metrics are being applied at universities around the country. The early responses confirm that a variety of research metrics and indicators of research output are used in the evaluation of staff performance at some institutions, though in quite varied ways. This information will be part of the Report that will published at the end of the year. There are also a number of hour-long focus groups and workshops that are being coordinated through NTEU National Office and Victorian Division in June and July. Each focus group will concentrate on the experiences of one of certain kinds of university staff, those in teaching and research, teaching-only, and research-only positions. If you work at a Victorian university, contact Jen Tsen Kwok or the Victorian Division to see if there is a focus group or workshop near you. A Jen Tsen Kwok, Policy & Research Officer, email firstname.lastname@example.org
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
Public lecture & Q&A-style public forum www.investinuniversities.org.au/events
The significance of university education to regional communities Thursday 2 August, Armidale NSW Public lecture by
Robyn Williams ABC Science Show
Hosted by Kelly
ABC New England North West NSW Radio Morning Show
Followed by a Q&A-style public forum featuring representatives from NTEU and the local community, plus special guests:
Tony Windsor MP
Prof Jim Barber
Federal Independent, Member for New England
Vice-Chancellor, University of New England
To book your FREE tickets, please contact Helen McLennan, NTEU UNE Branch email Helen.email@example.com, phone 02 6773 3175 The unique event is expected to attract business and community members in Armidale to an afternoon that will be both entertaining and promote the role of our higher education system to local communities.
JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
This is the first of a series of community forums organised by NTEU to highlight the significance of universities to the communities they serve, and allow discussion about the difficulties staff continue to face with inadequate resources.
Further events are in planning for Mackay, Darwin, Bendigo and other regional centres over the next 12 months. Details will be made available as the planning develops. www.investinuniversities.org.au/events
2012 Federal Budget T
reasurer Wayne Swan delivered his 5th Budget on Tuesday 8 March 2012. In order to meet its election commitment of returning the Budget to surplus in 2012-13, the Government delivered a highly contractionary Budget aimed at turning a $44.4 billion deficit in 2011-12 into a small $1.5 billion surplus in 2012-13.
This $45.9 turnaround in the underlying cash budget bottom line is expected to be achieved by $38.8b increase in Commonwealth Government receipts and a $7.1b reduction in C o m m o n wealth payments. While some of these savings will be achieved by bringing some funding forward before 1 July 2012 (for example bringing one off grants t o s o m e universities forward to the 201112 Financial year) or delaying expenditure after 2012-13 (for example, in foreign aid), the Commonwealth has nonetheless set itself a savings target of some $33b over the 4 year forward estimates to 2015–16. The savings task set by this Budget not only needs to fund lower revenue growth but also pay for the Government’s policy objectives and ‘redirection’ of funding including the following big ticket items: • Changes to Family Tax benefits ($1.8b to 2015-16). • Schoolkids bonus ($2.1b). • National Disability Insurance Scheme ($1b) • Upgrade of Pacific Hwy ($2.7b). 28
Despite these budgetary constraints, funding for universities came out of the 2012-13 Budget relatively unscathed. Although there had been much pre-Budget speculation that tertiary education would suffer significant cuts, funding for the sector remained largely untouched. Costs associated with uncapping of the number of undergraduate Commonwealth supported places (demand driven system) have not been reigned in, improved indexation for learning and teaching and research grants has been maintained and increases in additional research block grant funding through the Sustainable Research Excellence (SRE) program will be delivered, as originally promised. In response to some of the recommendations contained in the Base Funding Review, the Budget included some announcements in relation to equity funding as well as the allocation of funds for the promotion of maths and science education in schools and universities.
Equity programmes The Treasurer announced a number of changes to equity support programs, including setting the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programs (HEPPP) low SES loading at a rate of $1,400 per low SES student, (down from the current average rate of approximately $1,800) which is expected to save some $68m over 4 years. $50m of these saving will be redirected to Partnership Programs between universities and schools or TAFES, or other communities groups. Funding for the enabling loadings will increase by $42m over four years, which it is anticipated will result in the average enabling loading rising from its current rate of about $1,800 to approximately $3,100 by 2014.
Promoting maths and science In response to the Chief Scientist’s report, Mathematics, Engineering and Science, in the National Interest, released at the same time as the Budget, the Commonwealth announced it would invest $54m over four years in the promotion of maths and science, of which $10.9m will be invested in innovative educational programs for maths and science teachers. A further $20m will be used to establish the Australian Mathematics and Science Partnership Program to support partnerships between universities, schools and other organisations.
Maths and science students In what might be a considered a somewhat ironic development when juxtaposed against the increased funding for the promotion of maths and science, the largest contribution from the higher education sector to the Government’s savings task is through an increase in HECS fees for students enrolled in maths, science and statistics. The November 2011 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) included the removal of the national priority discount rate of HECS for maths, statistics and science subjects commencing on 1 January 2013. HECS charges in 2013 for these students will increase from a National Priority rate of $4,696 per student to the Band 2 rate of $8,361 per student. This represents an 80% increase in the cost of studying maths and science at university for students enrolling from 2013, which amounts to about $15,000 for a four year degree. This measure was estimated to save the Commonwealth in the order of $400 million over 4 years. The continued over page... NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
People in insecure work putting their lives on hold A
major public inquiry into insecure employment has found that people in casual, labour hire and contracting jobs are literally putting their lives on hold because they have no job or income security to plan for the future.
...continued from previous page rationale underlying this announcement was that the National Priority HECS rate was not having the desired effect of attracting a substantially higher number of students to enrol in maths and science degrees. On Budget night, the Treasurer announced that the grandparenting clause that applied to students enrolled prior to 2013 in maths, science and statistics courses would not apply and therefore all students, regardless of when they enrolled, would be expected to pay the higher rate from 2013. This retrospective increase in fees for students already enrolled in these subjects is estimated to save the Government an additional $315m. This means that, taking into account both the MYEFO and 2012-13 Budget announcement, the higher HECS fees being paid by maths and science students will save the Commonwealth $715m over the next four years.
Other initiatives There were a number of other announcements contained in the Budget that affect the sector, including removing the eligibility of Australian citizens residing overseas to HECS-HELP loans to study at an Australian university. This is not meant to apply to domestic students undertaking some of their program as exchange students, but rather Australian citizens enrolled at an Australian university but residing overseas. A Paul Kniest, Policy & Research Coordinator JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
The Independent Inquiry into Insecure Work, Lives on Hold: Unlocking the potential of Australia’s Workforce, chaired by former deputy Prime Minister Brian Howe, submitted its report and recommendations to the ACTU Congress in May. The Inquiry’s findings are that the new divide among Australian workers is the gap between those in secure employment and the 40% of the workforce that endures insecure employment. The report is the result of the most thorough analysis of the issue of insecure work, its causes, its effects on individuals, communities, workplaces and the economy, ever undertaken in Australia. The Inquiry panel, comprising Brian Howe, former Industrial Relations Commissioner Paul Munro, Union activist Jill Biddington and academic Sarah Charlesworth, received 521 submissions from groups and individuals and held six weeks of public hearings across 23 locations around Australia, with experts, community groups and workers all shedding light on the issues. The report noted that it’s a blight on a nation as prosperous as Australia that 40% of the workforce does not have the same rights as those in secure jobs – and some have little or none.
The report recommends a series of legislative changes, and that Australia needs greater investment in its workforce. Australia’s welfare system needs reform and we need to improve the bargaining system so workers can pursue their rights. Casual workers need more protections; sham contracting needs to be tackled; and greater protection is required for people who get their work through labour hire. The ACTU Congress committed the union movement to campaigning to improve job security for people in insecure work. An industrial and legislative agenda was endorsed by the Congress that includes these immediate priorities: • Improved regulation of the labour market that provides all workers with a universal set of protections and entitlements. • Reducing and removing the ability of employers to shift economic risk onto their workforce. • Measures to provide better protections to workers employed indirectly through labour hire and agency arrangements. • To eliminate disguised employment arrangements like sham contracting. A Michael Evans, National Organiser The Howe Inquiry and the ACTU Secure Jobs campaign c www.actu.org.au/Campaigns/ SecureJobsBetterFuture NTEU UniCasual website c www.unicasual.org.au 29
Push to improve gender equity at work T
he Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace (EOWW) Amendment Bill 2012 has been introduced to Parliament and has been the subject of a Senate Inquiry. The Bill is intended to amend the existing Act and better encourage employers to remove barriers to the full and equal participation of women in the workforce.
Despite the introduction of the Affirmative Action (Equal Opportunity for Women) Act 1986 (known as EOWW) almost a quarter of a century ago, equal opportunity in the workplace is yet to be achieved. Indeed, the latest data on equity shows that women continue to be disadvantaged in the workplace: • Despite making up half the workforce, women in full-time paid work still earn 17.6% less than men in full-time paid work, amounting to over one million dollars less over a lifetime. • While women are now more likely to have a tertiary qualification than men, women graduates will earn $2,000 less than male graduates and $7,400 less by the fifth year after graduation. • Women retire with less than half the amount of savings in their superannuation accounts than men. • Women are four times as likely to experience sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace compared to men. While the current EOWW legislation has been a significant improvement on previous legislation intended to address gender equity in the workforce, the persistent inequities that continue to exist have led to calls for review and revision. Furthermore, new, emerging equal employment opportunity concerns, such as the growth of casualisation in feminised industries, is yet to be addressed.
Equal employment legislation The EOWW Act was originally enacted in 1986. At the time, it was considered nec30
essary in order to ensure that all large employers took their obligations to women employees seriously, and that outdated conventions and prejudices should not impede the participation of women in the workforce. The EOWW Act was reviewed in 1999, and was subsequently amended in recognition that regulatory change was needed in order to drive action. A key term of reference for the 1999 review was to reduce the regulatory burden on business whilst achieving better outcomes for equality. As it stands, the EOWW Act requires relevant employers to promote equal opportunity for women in the workforce. Its principal objectives are to: • Promote merit-based employment. • Promote the provision of equal employment opportunity for women and the elimination of direct and indirect discrimination. • Foster consultation between employers on issues relating to equal opportunity for women. Relevant employers are deemed to be organisations with 100 or more employees, but do not include public sector employers. They are collectively known as ‘reporting organisations’, and their identification relies primarily on disclosure and self-identification by organisations. Despite the presence of the Act, however, gender inequity has remained, and in recent times has in fact increased. It is obvious that the regulatory changes intended by the Act have fallen short of their intended goals, and thus revision was necessary.
Review of EOWW and EOWA As a result of intense pressure by unions, community organisations and activists over a number of years, on 6 June 2009 the Government announced a new review of the Act, including a review of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA). The review’s two key terms of reference were: • Consider the effectiveness of the existing legislation and arrangements in delivering equal opportunity for women. • Consider opportunities to reduce the cost of existing regulation and/or ways to ensure that any new legislation is costeffective and well targeted. The review examined the effectiveness and efficiency of the legislation in promoting equal opportunity for women in the workplace, with a view to identifying aspects which were working and those which required a renewed focus. It was overseen by a project reference group which included representatives from the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), the Australian Industry Group (AIG), the Business Council of Australia and other key stakeholders. A large number of submissions were made to the review, and a variety of approaches to pursuing gender equality canvassed. Ultimately, there was strong support for the existing approach, ‘based significantly on reporting, education and cultural change, but with modernisation and refinement to make it more effective and more efficient. Acting on the review, in 2010 the Government made a commitment to support NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
gender equity gender equality and workforce participation and flexibility by amending and improving the Act. In doing so, the Government announced a package of reforms to: • Amend the name and objects of the Act. • Improve the coverage of the Act. • Enhance the Agency’s advice and education functions. • Simplify and streamline reporting, and • Clarify the compliance framework. A full report on the Review is available on the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs website.
Recommended changes As a result of the Review, the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Amendment Bill 2012 has been drafted and introduced to Parliament. The Bill seeks to amend the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 (the Act) to reflect a proposed new focus of the Act on improving gender equality in the workplace. It reflects the extensive consultation undertaken during and after the 2009 review of the Act, and specific recognition is made of equality in remuneration and the centrality of family responsibilities to the achievement of gender equality. The following proposed amendments reflect this focus: • The name of the Act to be amended to Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. • The coverage of the Act to be amended to include all employers and employees in the workplace (noting this does not cover public service employees). • The introduction of a new reporting framework in which relevant employers are required to report against gender equality indicators. • The introduction of amendments relating to transparency regarding compliance with the Act and the consequences of non-compliance. The Bill also seeks to change the name of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency and the title of the Director of the Agency to the Director of Workplace Gender Equality.
JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
Current status of the Bill On 1 March 2012, the Senate referred the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Amendment Bill 2012 (the Bill) to the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 8 May 2012. The Committee found these reforms within the Bill did aim to strengthen the laws and institutions that promote gender equality in Australia’s workplaces. While some industry representatives argued that the way to improve equity was to focus on providing incentives for employers to address gender equality issues rather than legislating for action, the Committee found that incentives for employers to comply already exist in the form of long term productivity benefits, workplace harmony and the opportunity to tender for Commonwealth contracts. These incen-
tives have been in place for some time, yet progress on gender equality outcomes has stagnated. The Committee therefore recommended that the Bill be passed, although disappointingly, there was dissent by the Coalition members on the Committee, who advocated for a voluntary, incentive based approach to gender equity, despite the fact that the gap in gender equity has been increasing. The Bill is now currently before the House of Representatives for debate, and is proving to be a contentious one. It is hoped by all who have worked so hard on improving gender equity that it will be passed, despite the Coalition voicing its strong opposition to the Legislation, stating in its view that ‘...that gender equality should be an aspirational goal.’ A Terri MacDonald, Policy & Research Officer For further information c www.nteu.org.au/article/ EOWA-Media-Release---Gender-pay-gap-shortchanges-women-%24250.50-a-week-12733
WOMEN’S ACTION COMMITTEE
CELEBRATING WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION WITH A WEEK OF DEBATES, EXHIBITIONS, FILM NIGHTS, PERFORMANCES, FOOD, SPEAKERS & MORE.
Artwork by Maryann Long, www.maplus.com.au 32
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
WOMEN’S ACTION COMMITTEE
atch out on campuses, this August for blue clad legs, balloons, laughter and fury as women staff and students celebrate our achievements in higher education. Together with the National Union of Students (NUS), NTEU is not only relaunching Bluestocking Week, but revitalising it too. Many NTEU members may remember Bluestocking Week from our own student days, but we now need to make it relevant for a new generation of students and staff. From the 1980s through to the last decade Australian women students held Bluestocking Week across the country. This was an opportunity to recognise the pioneering women that came before us, campaign and celebrate women’s scholarship and participation in higher education. Bluestocking Week largely disappeared as resources for women students to organise on campus dried up due to the anti-student organisation (VSU) legislation of the previous Coalition Government. This was a real loss, because Bluestocking Week drew attention to what women had won and were still fighting for in higher education. It was not just about access and numbers of women at universities, but also about what was being taught and researched, and by whom. With more women than men now graduating with first degrees, women have come a long way from the original bluestockings who had to argue against the learned men who claimed women’s brains were smaller so they were incapable of higher learning – and if they tried their wombs would atrophy as too much energy flooded to the head! Most of these nutty ideas have disappeared from our universities (I hope!), but there remains far too much gender based discrimination and prejudice in the curriculum, the structures and resources. This year’s Bluestocking Week will focus on the original bluestocking themes of celebrating women’s intellectualism; advancing femi-
JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
nism through education; and rebelling against social constructs that prescribe roles for women’ including those of class, race, sexuality and culture, that restrict women’s freedom of expression and thought – and we will add a modern (or postmodern) twist. The term bluestocking comes from a tradition of scholarly women being disparagingly referred to as ‘bluestockings’ from the 18th century as women started organising literary societies and began campaigning for women’s access to university. The first generations of women university students and teachers were called “bluestockings’. There is some controversy about the exact etymology, but the salient point is that serious intellectual women claimed the term for themselves to identify with being scholarly, inquisitive and clever. There is a long history of bluestocking societies, publications and events, not only in the West, but even a magazine in Japan around the turn of the 20th century. Bluestocking Week is coordinated by the national Women’s Action Committee which has representatives from each Division. Events are being organised at National, Divisional and university Branch levels. Contact your Branch to get involved and make suggestions. For more information and to see what is being planned go to the Blue Stocking Week website. A Jeannie Rea, National President Bluestocking Week website c www.nteu.org.au/bluestockingweek
Muckaty nuclear waste dump I
n June 2012, traditional land owners from Manuwangku will dispute the Northern Lands Council (NLC) agreement with the Federal Government to permit a nuclear waste dump on their land.
It is a sad indictment of the little progress made in the twenty years since the Mabo decision that finds Indigenous peoples in conflict over land ownership in a Melbourne court The NLC did act on behalf of one family of traditional owners of Manuwangku, also known as Muckaty Station, 120 kilometres from Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. They signed off in exchange for millions of dollars, but that money, if it ever materialises, will not end up controlled by most of the Muckaty community. Too much media and political focus has been upon the dispute amongst Indigenous peoples, and not upon the reprehensible behaviour of the current and previous federal governments in trying to divert attention from their problem of dealing with nuclear waste from Australian uranium. Even more devious, in fanning this diversion, are those nuclear industry advocates who see
storage facilities as a wedge to commit Australia to the industry. The National Radioactive Waste Management Bill was passed through both Houses of Parliament in March. The traditional owners have petitioned the Governor-General not to give her assent. It appears that some of the supporters of the waste dump have been conned by the argument that it is needed for medical waste. However, nuclear medical specialists argue that the very low levels of radiation of most medical waste deteriorate quickly and so need containment immediately and close to their site of usage. The dangerous spent fuel rods made of Australian uranium due to be returned to Australia in the next few years are a very different prospect and do need to be stored very carefully and for a very long time. Not even the advocates of the nuclear industry
want nuclear waste stored near them. But it is not up to Indigenous people to bear the brunt of the problem. Commentators have pointed out that the doctrine of terra nullus still seems to be in the minds of those who make comments like Brendan Nelson who was reported saying that Muckaty is in ‘the middle of nowhere’. Article 29 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples says that ‘no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of Indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent.’ Indigenous people are once again being dumped upon by White Australia. A Jeannie Rea, National President Below: Muckaty traditional owners (in Melbourne for meetings about their federal court case against the nuclear waste dump) pose in front of an ACF billboard in Northcote. (L to R) Gladys Brown, Mark Lane, Jeannie Sambo, Dianne Stokes, Doris Kelly. Photo ©Dominic O’Brien, www.dominicobrienphoto.com
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
Inquiry into international student education I
nternational students and their education has become an area of intense scrutiny for both the Government and the sector, particularly in the wake of a decline in the growth of student numbers. In October 2011, in an effort to determine what may be done to overcome the slowdown, the Federal Government formed the International Education Advisory Council (IEAC), headed by Michael Chaney AO.
The Council’s brief is to provide advice to the Australian Government to help inform the development of a five year national strategy to support the sustainability and quality of the international education sector. As part of this process, the Council recently released its Discussion Paper The Development of an International Education Strategy for Australia, and called for a response from the sector and business groups. The paper covers a number of broad based themes and raises questions that explore issues of concern, for the sector and international students themselves. While the Union is pleased that the Advisory Council appears to have covered broader areas of concern to international students and the sector, particularly the focus on engaging with students in terms of their experience and the need to ensure there is the appropriate infrastructure and services to accommodate their needs, there is still within the paper, a very market driven attitude to International students.
NTEU submission to the enquiry NTEU’s submission is focused primarily on how the student experience may be improved, as well as noting regulatory changes and the importance of mobility for both students and academic staff. The importance of research and development in an international context is also an important consideration for the Union. In our submission to the 2009 Baird Review of the ESOS Act, NTEU recommended the need for a substantive and comprehensive re-evaluation of Australian international education system. While we were largely JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
supportive of the outcomes of the review by the Hon Bruce Baird AM, we believe that the underlying issues we outlined in our submission to the Baird Review have not yet been fully examined or acted upon. NTEU notes that there have been a substantive number of reviews and legislative changes have occurred since this time, including most recently the Knight Review of the Student Visa Program (2011) which has led to some significant changes in the arrangements around student visas. These have focused primarily upon regulatory change. As such NTEU’s broader concerns regarding international student education remain, and thus in this submission we again highlight our concerns regarding the following: • Higher education funding broadly and funding arrangements in relation to the nature and quality of international education. • The nature of international education in Australia. • The strategic role of TEQSA in relation to international education. • International student housing, employment, mobility and other student welfare issues. • The legal gap in the status and rights of international students living and working for extensive periods in Australia. • The connection between student visa conditions and migration pathways. NTEU views the right to work, study and live in a safe environment, as well as the right to have access to appropriate welfare services and frameworks, as fundamental human rights. However, unlike students who
are Australian citizens, international students do not enjoy complete social and economic security in this country. In addition, by being away from their country of residence, their security is not fully catered for by the nations in which they are citizens.
Students’ rights It is important to note that there is no bilateral or multilateral framework whereby international students’ rights to social and economic security are fully catered for, nor do the international agencies and bodies take up questions of student security. For example, while the International Labour Agency (ILO) has a longstanding concern about the rights of migrants, students are specifically excluded from its definition of ‘migrants’. As such, NTEU advocates for a re-examination of current legislative frameworks, practices and support systems that cater to international students, with a view to guaranteeing their social and economic rights. A Terri MacDonald, Policy & Research Officer
‘Political donors lacking academic experience’
Uni Pres ousted in power play S
hocking dramatics in the leadership of the University of Virginia (UVA), one of America’s oldest and most prestigious public universities, have made national headlines. The popular and recently appointed President, Teresa Sullivan, was ousted by an opaque power play from the Board of Visitors and its Rector, real estate developer Helen Dragas.
The UVA Board of Visitors includes a coal company magnate, a Wall Street professional, a lawyer for General Electric, a nursing home executive, a beer distribution entrepreneur and other business elites. Only four have professional experience in higher education. The decision has been universally condemned, and yet the Board continues to meet in secret and refuses to give even the simplest justifications for their actions. Sullivan stepped down after just two years in office, citing ‘philosophical differences’ with the institution’s governing Board of Visitors. Yet a plot to force her out had been building in secret for months, according to emails released by UVA at the request of the Cavalier Daily, the student newspaper. ‘Members of the board,’ report Zach Carter and Jason Linkins in the Huffington Post, ‘steeped in a culture of corporate jargon and buzzy management theories, wanted the school to institute austerity measures and reengineer its academic offerings around inexpensive, online education... Led by Rector Helen Dragas, ...the board shared a guiding vision that the university could, and indeed should, be run like a Fortune 500 company.’ For some university staff, the controversy is emblematic of how the cult of corporate expertise and private-sector savvy has corralled the upper reaches of university life, at the expense of academic freedom and ‘unprofitable’ areas of study. ‘There is this sort of shift in the zeitgeist,’ says Tal Brewer, chair of UVA’s Philosophy Department. Brewer sees a new, heightened cultural ‘adoration of the business mind as capable of bringing clarity, organisation and efficiency to any kind of institution...I just think that’s a deep mistake.’ The Huffington Post reports that during her first two years at UVA, ‘Sullivan undertook 36
could be adapted to new Internet-based techniques. They did not appoint a commission to make recommendations or conduct a study of their own.’
initiatives to bolster the faculty’s ability to teach more intimately, cede greater budget discretion to the academic departments, and attempted to close what many acknowledge to be a ‘reputation gap’ with graduate programs. Pushing for more budget control and better quality programs won Sullivan strong allies within the student body and faculty.’
Strangling innovation According to the emails obtained by the Cavalier Daily, the rationale for the leadership change is as strange as the secrecy. Dragas and Kington appear to have built their case against Sullivan from just a few media articles that offer vague praise for the use of online education. A Chronicle of Higher Education article, which Dragas sent co-conspirator Vice Rector, Mark Kington, characterised the traditional pursuit of academic excellence as something that ‘strangled’ innovation, and argued that ‘the pace of change is stuck somewhere between sluggish and glacial.’ Carter and Linkins believe ‘none of the emails between Dragas and Kington suggest that either read serious studies on technological opportunities in the classroom, or considered how UVA’s current programs
UVA staff and students rebelled against the coup fiercely and swiftly. Provost John Simon threatened to resign, the Faculty Senate passed a vote of no confidence in the board, and the school’s student-run honour committee accused the board of compromising the school’s ‘community of trust.’ The Cavalier Daily ran an editorial calling for the resignation of every member of the Board of Visitors. Kington stepped down on June 19. Despite her affection for cost-cutting, Dragas hired Hill+Knowlton Strategies, a crisis management public relations firm. According to The Hook, a Charlottesville weekly magazine, the bill for those services ‘will run from $50,000 to $100,000, and will be paid by the University of Virginia Foundation,’ a non-profit corporation that administers the school’s economic assets. But according to the Huffington Post, ‘the pricey PR has failed to quell the uproar. Much of the furor has been fuelled by the board’s continued refusal to publicly explain why its members felt Sullivan had fallen short.’
Update UVA Board of Visitors will consider reinstating President Teresa Sullivan at a meeting in late June, even as the board’s leader defends her actions in asking Sullivan to step down. A Source: Huffington Post Photo: Staff and students rally for Teresa Sullivan on Jefferson’s Lawn, UVA, 18 June 2012 © Jessie Chapman, Flickr NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
UTAS studentsâ€™ Ugandan Rural Health Project
Microscopes & mozzie nets T
hroughout December 2011 and January 2012 a group of four Tasmanian medical students, representing The International Society for Student Unity and Empowerment (ISSUE) Foundation, initiated projects for infectious disease prevention and support of the local community in Uganda. The budget for the projects was based on $10,000 fundraised in Australia.
Malaria prevention Our main initiative involved education about methods of malaria prevention and provision of Long Lasting Insecticide-treated Nets (LLIN). We decided to hold workshops within the rural communities in cooperation with the local leaders of each community. Each workshop began with a discussion about malaria transmission, signs, symptoms and prevention. We then demonstrated how to use the LLIN. Following this the nets were distributed, at minimum one to every family, with priority being given to those families with pregnant women and children under the age of five. In addition to the 1100 nets distributed through the workshops, we also provided nets and essential equipment for survival to 50 elderly people during home visits.
HIV testing & counselling Another objective was voluntary HIV counselling, testing and education (VCT). We did this by supporting The AIDS Support Organisation (TASO) to attend our health workshops with their mobile VCT clinic. TASO attended a total of 5 clinics, serving 372 people, whilst enrolling those who tested positive (19 in total) into free ongoing support programmes within the organsation. The program involved an initial whole-group pre-test counselling and then individual testing with subsequent confidential post-test counselling, regardless of status.
Donated microsopes After meeting with the Masaka District Medical Officer, Dr Stuart Musisi, we identified that the two â€˜Health Centre Fourâ€™ facilities of the Masaka region would be the best for allocation of two donated microscopes that could be operated by either electricity or mirror. Each centre had a laboratory equipped with one microscope operated solely on electricity, and plenty of electricity blackouts which rendered the old microscopes useless on many occasions. By obtaining a second microscope, each health centre has the ability to more efficiently diagnose malaria as well as other infectious diseases. We have already received notice from one of the health centres that their new microscope has already become essential at the clinic. This is because the power was permanently disconnected due to lack JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
of funding, while the mirror feature of the microscope that we donated has allowed them to continue working and serving their community.
Skills development The Anaweza Talents and Skills Development Project was established two years ago by Julius Kiwanuka and is supported by nearby communities. The project holds activities for more than 50 children as well as youth and single mothers. Activities range from textiles and building skills to drug abuse counselling, sexual education and family planning. One of the activities is The Anaweza Dance Troupe who performs tribal dances, guided by a volunteer choreographer. This encourages a sense of purpose in the children, while keeping them away from the streets and from drugs and alcohol abuse. The goal is to build reputation to allow them to charge fees for the performances. This will reduce the dependence on donations to cover the costs of the participation in activities and the food provided for the children. Prior to our project, the dance troupe had to use donations from the community and NGOs to rent costumes and instruments. We decided to assist the organisation to better use the donations they receive through a contribution of dancing outfits, shoes and musical instruments because we were deeply impressed from the positive educational values that this program holds. A Yoni Byron, Alice McGushin, Bree Cumming, Katie Daw. For more information or to make a donation please visit c www.theissuefoundation.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org 37
NATIONAL COUNCIL news from the net
2012 Digital Campus Report T
he Chronicle of Higher Education is an online publication from the US which publishes a Weekly Briefing of higher education news and views and a number of free email newsletters, including one on technology called Wired Campus. They also publish an annual Report called The Digital Campus, the 2012 edition of which was recently released. Other institutions, however, are combining technology and pedaThis edition is particularly interesting for its balanced view of the use gogy to very good effect. Those that function both on-campus and of technology in higher education – not for them the wild-eyed techon-line would seem to have an advantage over those solely on-line nophile E-vangelist spreading the gospel of Saints Gates or Jobs, nor at this stage, but are in danger of construing the process as one-way the crusty old cynic bad-mouthing everything that blinks. Rather is delivery, such as televising face-to-face teaching on-campus and there a number of sober, thoughtful assessments of the various uses, making the video available to off-campus (second-class) students misuses and abuses of various technologies in various settings in online. Such an arrangement might satisfy the institution’s beanhigher education in the US. counters briefly, but is not educationally-sustainable. Many of these developments have been driven by students rather The most promising developments are in the use of social media in than by academics. Yesterday, students might have done a quick higher education – ironically, the birthplace of social media but hithsearch of Wikipedia to find an answer to a question. Today, students erto shunned by the institutions. might take a whole online course from MIT or the University of WisOne of the most interesting contributions to The Digital Campus consin at Madison, or Oxford University to improve their understand2012 is from Richard A DeMillo, head ing of a topic, or browse through of the Center for 21st Century Uniseveral online university courses versities at Georgia Tech entitled ‘So to see which approach to develThe balance of roles played by staff is You’ve Got Technology, So What?’. oping an understanding of a conchanging – less of the sole source of He opines that disruptive digital cept ‘does it for them’. knowledge, more of the mentor and technology will do to higher educaIn former days, staff might collaborator. The teaching/learning tion what it has done to bookselling, have censured the student for retailing and newspapers. using Wikipedia. Today, more relationship is less concerned (not These business models have been and more staff are noting the unconcerned) with what is found out and transformed through search engine weblinks to the online lectures more concerned with how it was found analytics, which accumulate personal and demonstrations which have out – what was once called the Inquiry demographics and match them to worked for their current students desired products and services. The so that they can make suggesMethod. demographics are self-managed tions to future students. Kaplan through social media and the combiU takes this even further and nation of who you are and what you do (or consume) establishes a matches the socio-economic profile of the student with the online virtual identity, or at least persona. course which has proven most successful for that demographic of Google remembers your searches and thus makes future searches past students. quicker and more satisfying, Amazon remembers your searches and The balance of roles played by staff is changing – less of the sole purchases and thus makes recommended future purchases, Facesource of knowledge, more of the mentor and collaborator. The book remembers your Friends, Events, Causes and Status Updates, teaching/learning relationship is less concerned (not unconcerned) and makes it easier to contact more. with what is found out and more concerned with how it was found If a higher education institution brought together your student out – what was once called the Inquiry Method. information, academic record, lecture timetable, library borrowings, Of course, such pedagogy is quite possible without technological web searches, tutorial discussions, essays and assignments, field trips, gadgets and gizmos, and too often the technology has been (mis) and messages in one virtual identity shared with other individuals, used in a didactic rather than a collaborative fashion. The number Groups and Circles under your control, then you would be able to of US higher education institutions with fingers burned on overjointly manage your learning with a 21st Centrury University. expenditure on technology is mounting. The Digital Campus 2012 is US$6.95 @ www.chronicle-store.com. A Many over-spent their rivals to acquire gadgets, without much Pat Wright is Director of the Centre for Labour Research at the University of Adelaide. thought about how those gadgets could be used. Consequently, email: email@example.com there is some disillusionment with the digital education revolution. 38
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
lowering the boom
Health of Australian science A
ustralia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, recently launched his eagerly-anticipated report on the Health of Australian Science. It was celebrated on his web site as ‘a comprehensive overview of Australia’s science system, outlining our strengths and vulnerabilities’.
to 24 per cent, for Chemistry it has declined from 22.9 to 17.2 per The overall conclusions painted a rosy picture. Professor Chubb cent and for Physics from 20.8 to 14.2 per cent. Those percentages told the National Press Club in Canberra that the Australian science are still declining. system is healthy and robust. He said that our research scientists are If students don’t take science subjects in Year 12, they certainly ‘some of the most productive in the world’ and urged his audience of won’t study them at university. The tertiary figures confirm a trend journalists and decision-makers to be ‘proud of what our scientists, away from such areas as the basic sciences, engineering and agriour engineers and our mathematicians achieve’. culture. Student numbers in engineering grew, but by less than He was able to say that research funding has at least kept pace the overall growth in undergraduate numbers, while enrolments with inflation, so that total expenditure on science-related R&D in in agriculture were more than 30 per cent below the 2002 figure Australia is now about $25 billion a year. But, as we all know, there by 2010. And gender balance is still an issue in the enabling scihas been a steady and systematic decline in the funding of basic ences, engineering and IT. Women are 46 per cent of chemistry research. Chubb noted that success rates of ARC grant applications students, 35 per cent in maths, 24 per cent in physics and only have declined since 2002 from 32 per cent to 23 per cent. What sort 14 per cent in IT and engineerof system forces our best researching. Since we aren’t producing ers to apply for the support they enough professional engineers need and fails more than threeSo what is the case for slowly strangling to meet the demands of the quarters of them? Funding of the our capacity for basic and strategic modern economy, the failure of NH&MRC has enabled success research? Could anyone seriously argue degree courses to attract women rates to remain roughly constant in that our understanding of the world we is a serious problem. the same period. The Chubb report raises some I can remember when the lion’s live in is so complete that we can scale fundamental questions. It asks, share of research funding came back our efforts? Or that our bank of ‘What are the direct implications from the Commonwealth Governintellectual capital is sufficiently robust for Australia in connection with ment. Today it only accounts for 30 that all our needs for development and important national concerns – per cent. So any objective observer food security, innovation, our would say that successive governimprovement can clearly be satisfied? place in the region – if our skills ments have failed to support basic base in crucial science disciresearch in universities and CSIRO, plines is further depleted?’ Any reasonable person would say that and therefore they are increasingly reliant on outside funding. As a the implications are obvious and linked to the rhetorical question colleague observed some years ago, ‘We have been starved out of asked by the report, ‘Do student choices align with the national the ivory tower’. interest?’ I think it is clear that they don’t. The Chubb report correctly says that ‘basic and strategic research The decline in sciences, agriculture and engineering combined augments our understanding of the world we live in’ and ‘adds to with an increasing concentration on law and commerce will prothe bank of intellectual capital on which society draws to develop, duce a workforce unable to meet our basic needs but able to take improve and transform’. So what is the case for slowly strangling our complicated legal steps to blame somebody else for the deficiencapacity for basic and strategic research? Could anyone seriously cies. We are paying a heavy price for the Dawkins reforms like the argue that our understanding of the world we live in is so complete introduction of HECS, which reframed education from a collective that we can scale back our efforts? Or that our bank of intellectual investment in our national capacity to a personal investment in capital is sufficiently robust that all our needs for development and earning potential. Future generations will suffer for the continuing improvement can clearly be satisfied? short-sighted neglect of the basic sciences. A The report fails to make a case for more adequate funding of Ian Lowe is Emeritus Professor of Science, Technology and Society basic research overall, limiting its concerns to the most serious at Griffith University. problems like the decline of the ‘enabling sciences’ – maths, physics and chemistry. The issue is a deep-seated one. Since 1992 the percentage of Year 12 students taking Biology has fallen from 35.3 JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
NATIONAL COUNCIL GUEST COLUMNIST
ian dobson, editor, australian universities’ review
54 years of union academic journals archived online W
ith its 55th year of publication coming up next year, Australian Universities’ Review (AUR) can rightly be described as a mature journal. It has certainly been around for much longer than most of Australia’s periodic collections of scholarly writing on universities. AUR’s editorial policy is to encourage debate and discussion about issues in higher education, and its pages contain both scholarly articles and other contributions, including short commentary and satire. AUR represents the broadest possible cross section of the staff of the Australian university sector. AUR has deep penetration and impact, because it is also Australia’s largest and most widely accessible journal. The hard copy print run is in the order of 8,000 each issue, and of course, it is available, free of charge, on the web (www.aur.org.au). As if this isn’t enough, the full archive of AUR in its current and previous guises is also available from the website. It has taken more than two years to complete the almost thankless task of digitising all the back issues. A few bound copies the NTEU’s physical archive had their hard covers removed before binding. With a little help from the State Library of Victoria and the National Library of Australia, we now have a complete digital archive, all the way back to the beginning, bar the covers for a handful of issues. If you happen to have copies of these in your library, we’d love to scan their covers – we’re just missing covers for the four issues of volume 2, 1958. The first issue hit the streets in February 1958 as volume 1, number 1 of the Federal Council Bulletin (The Journal of the Federal Council of University Staff Associations of Australia). It was a modest offering, just 17 pages in length (including several pages of tables about the impact of the newly-released Murray Report), plus a paper cover. There were five issues that year, but by issue number 5, the title had become Vestes (Bulletin of the Federal Council of University Staff Associations of Australia). Volume 4, number 1 saw the cover describing the journal as Vestes, the Australian Universities’ Review, a moniker that persisted until volume 28, number 2, in 1985, when Vestes was dropped.
Of course, AUR has already published a scholarly paper about its own first 50 years. Past editor, current editorial board member, and regular contributor Simon Marginson provided ‘Australian Universities’ Review: a life (so far)’, which was published in volume 50, number 2 (2008), my first issue as editor. Simon’s paper reminds us of many of the issues of the day, going back further than most of us can remember and I commend it to you. With its age and accessibility, AUR is almost like a historical encyclopaedia of Australia’s higher education. For this reason, recent AUR Editorial Board meetings included discussion about the possibility of producing the entire back run on compact disc. To enhance the utility of this wonderful history, we are also preparing an extensive index of the contents of AUR over the years. We hope this project will be completed by the end of 2013, at which time we anticipate holding a formal launch. The existence of a digitised Australian Universities’ Review presents our sector and higher education researchers everywhere with a brilliant resource, and dare one say it: a unique repository that explains the evolution of our universities. In this highly convenient digital age, a single compact disc will hold an annotated history of higher education in Australia. It will be a ‘must have’ for private and public libraries everywhere. A Ian Dobson, AUR editor AUR archive c www.aur.org.au/archive
Volume 49, Numbers
AUSTRAL IAN UNI VERSITI ES REVI EW
vol. 54, no. 1,
1 & 2, 2007
Issue Contemporary issues doctoral educa in tion
The future face The crisis in our
es: the poor
of higher educatio
who’s to blame?
relations of innovatio
How not to fund
IES REVIEW PUBLISHED
Australian Uni versities’Review
The Howard Era – In Retro
spect? Higher Education Policy’s Groundhog So farewell, Mr Robin Days son: The Monas h plagiarism debac le ISSN 0818-8068 Volume 46, Number
2, 2004 Published by
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
letter from new zealanD/aotearoa
SANDRA GREY, TEU
Democratic councils are crucial to academic independence N
ew Zealand’s Minister of Tertiary Education, Steven Joyce, recently said he intends to reform university councils because he believes they are ‘large and unwieldy’.
expensive ministerially-appointed bureaucrats. Unsurprisingly, In 2009, the Government pushed through similar changes for polycosts went up and accountability to communities diminished. technic councils. Those changes reduced councils down to eight At Wintec, for instance, fourteen people sat on Council before the members, four of whom are directly appointed by the Minister reforms and collected $93,000 in Council fees. Then, in 2010, the and those first four get to choose the remaining four. The Minister eight councillors, appointed by either the Minister or the ministeappoints the chairperson and gives her or him the casting vote. Counrial appointees took pay rises of between 17 and 131 per cent, and cil members may also sit on multiple councils. Staff representatives, collected just under $109,000, despite being half the size and less student representatives, union representatives and Maori representarepresentative. At Unitec the 15 councillors in 2009 received a total tives all lost their seats on the new councils. of $99,000 (an average of $6,600 each). The eight councillors in 2010 Ironically, a few weeks after the Minister announced he intends appointed by either the Minister or the Council itself, took $116,000 to reform councils the University of Canterbury’s Council voted to (an average of $14,500 each). retain two courses that the Vice-Chancellor and his management That pattern was repeated around New Zealand. team had wanted to close. After a public campaign by students and NZTEU is campaigning with staff at the University, the Council students and others to protect voted to retain Theatre and Film the right of staff and students to Studies by nine votes to eight and The Minister is perpetuating a myth have a say in how our universities the Cultural Studies program by that good business leaders make good are governed. Importantly we are eight votes to seven. also campaigning for the right of The staff and student representleaders of public institutions... we need councils to remain independent atives on that council were crucial look no further than the Global Financial from government and business. in standing up to the Vice-ChanCrisis to see what a good job publicly The Minister is perpetuating cellor, voting against him and chalgoverned democratic and representative a myth that good business leadlenging his ‘austerity’ plan to cut ers make good leaders of public courses. They saved jobs and they university councils have been doing institutions such as universities saved opportunities for students. compared to so called entrepreneurial and polytechnics. Emma Johnston, one of the and streamlined business directors. And it is even more of a myth student leaders who drove the that just because someone is a campaign to oppose the closure business leader they are good of Canterbury courses, said staff at governing – we need look no further than the Global Financial and students would never have had any success at Council had it Crisis to see what a good job publicly governed democratic and consisted only of senior management and government-appointed representative university councils have been doing compared to so members, nor would there have been three hours of debate and called entrepreneurial and streamlined business directors. cross-examination leading up to the vote. Universities have a legal duty to challenge received wisdom and ‘If university councils cease to be democratic, our universities will be the critic and conscience of society – including challenging govcease to be democratic, and our educational futures will be dictated ernment. We question how councils can do that when the majority by a privileged few and prone to corruption,’ said Emma Johnston. of their council owe their seats to the minister who appointed them. The University of Canterbury’s council voted twice to oppose the Why would the Government want to replace diverse, democratiVice-Chancellor’s plans to close arts courses, thus saving cultural cally elected people who have a range of skills and a passion for studies and theatre and film studies. A vote to close American studtheir local university, with a more expensive, less diverse team of ies only passed after the Chancellor used his casting vote to split ministerially-appointed bureaucrats? A a voting deadlock. In each instance, the four staff representatives Sandra Grey is National President/Te Tumu Whakarae, on Council consistently opposed the closures, thus saving jobs and New Zealand Tertiary Education Union/Te Hautū Kahurangi o Aotearoa learning opportunities for many staff and students. TEU www.teu.ac.nz When the Government imposed business-style reform on polytechnic councils two years ago, experienced, democratically-chosen community people were sacked from the boards and replaced with JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
ACTU Congress 2012
Secure Jobs. Better Future. T
he centrepiece of the triennial ACTU Congress held in Sydney in April was the Secure Jobs. Better Future campaign, with the release of the report of the Independent Inquiry into Insecure Work, Lives on Hold: Unlocking the Potential of Australia’s Workforce.
In speaking to the report, the Inquiry Chair, former Deputy PM Brain Howe acknowledged the input of unions, academic researchers, community and welfare organisations, but particularly congratulated the workers who gave evidence to the enquiry, often a risky decision considering their precarious jobs. As NTEU officials and members had presented at many hearings, it was gratifying that the plight of casual academics is well documented in the report and was mentioned by Mr Howe. Importantly too, a number of the general proposals made in the NTEU submission also made it into the recommendations, including those for a secure employment principle in modern awards and bargaining agreements, and the
use of fixed term contracts to avoid unfair dismissal.
Precarious employment focus Precariously employed workers from many industries, including the NTEU’s Chris Elenor, were invited onto the Congress stage. Later in the session a group of twenty outworkers from the Textile Clothing and Footwear Union (TCFUA) joined their National Secretary Michele O’Neil on stage to celebrate the recent passage of national legislation regulating outworkers, which was the final culmination of a 16 year campaign. The participation of all these workers in the Congress was important as it made very real to the 1000 union leaders and delegates
that the trade union movement has a huge responsibility to pursue the interests of these particularly exploited workers. NTEU President Jeannie Rea, in speaking to the resolution supporting the recommendations, highlighted the circumstances of academic casuals. She also called upon the whole trade union movement to organise and support precarious workers, noting that with few notable exceptions most trade unions had largely ignored the rampant growth of precarious employment, focusing upon their more securely employed members. Now with an estimated 40% of the Australian workforce precariously employed, organising and campaigning with these workers must be a priority. In an otherwise highly stage managed conference, the inclusion of the precarious workers, as well as vignettes from unions on current campaigns provided much needed meaning and confirmation that despite all the negativity Australian unions are taking on important fights, and even getting some wins. Campaign presentations including fighting sham contracting (AMWU/AWU), offshoring of work (ASU/FSU) and other abuses by local and transnational companies (CFMEU/MUA), as well as clever campaigns to defeat non-union ballots (CPSU).
NTEU Indigenous claims
ACTU Congress delegates. In front row (L-R): NTEU General Secretary Grahame McCulloch, National Assistant Secretary Matthew McGowan, Vice-President (General Staff) Gabe Gooding and Indigenous Policy Committee Chair Jillian Miller. Photo © ACTU 42
NTEU decided to feature its campaign for Indigenous employment targets in university Collective Agreements. The purpose was to both to explain the achievements to date, and to draw attention to the internal union conditions needed to prosecute an industrial campaign for Indigenous employment within an industry. Consequently, IndigNTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
YOUR UNION enous Policy Committee (IPC) Chair, Jillian Miller outlined the ways that the NTEU has made Indigenous business core union business, which was further emphasised by the General Secretary, Grahame McCulloch’s closing comment that we will be measured on our deeds not our words. The impact of the presentation was made more powerful through video commentary from three active Indigenous members, Professor Bronwyn Fredericks, new Pro Vice Chancellor at Central Queensland University, Karen Jackson of Victoria University and Stuart MacFarlane of RMIT. Drawing upon the Prime Minister’s speech earlier in the Congress, where she referred to her social inclusion strategy of deregulating university places, NTEU National Assistant Secretary Matt McGowan moved the resolution amending and updating the Higher Education policy. He emphasised the dramatic impacts upon universities of the increases in student numbers without commensurate increases in staff and resources, and urged support from the trade union movement for the NTEU’s Invest in Australia’s Future campaign.
HSU issue The ACTU leadership including new Secretary Dave Oliver demonstrated sound leadership in establishing an independent expert panel to identify best practices and examine weaknesses in union structures and management. This was a constructive response to the damning of the whole union movement by revelations of corruption and abuse of responsibilities by some Health Services Union officials.
NTEU representation NTEU was represented at Congress by National President Jeannie Rea, General Secretary Grahame McCulloch, National Assistant Secretary Matthew McGowan, National Vice President (General Staff ) Gabe Gooding, IPC Chair Jillian Miller and Deputy IPC Chair and National Executive Member Terry Mason. A Jeannie Rea, National President c www.actucongress.org.au Top: ACTU President Ged Kearney. Middle: PM Julia Gillard. Bottom: Textile, Clothing & Footwear Union outworkers. All images © ACTU 2012 JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
Recent human rights actions by NTEU N
TEU National Office regularly sends letters to foreign governments and companies in support of imprisoned or victimised educators and workers, upon the request of education and human rights organisations. For more information, please visit the organisations’ websites: Amnesty International www.amnesty.org Scholars at Risk scholarsatrisk.nyu.edu Education International www.ei-ie.org
Action request: Education International and Amnesty International To:
King, Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs
Action: Further letter re concerns for health of Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb, President of the Bahraini Teachers Association. He commenced a hunger strike on 12 February in protest at the refusal of authorities to release him on bail and the deplorable conditions in jail.
Also expressed concerns re arrest of Jalila al-Salman, Vice-President of the Bahraini Teachers Association and other teacher unionists and teachers following pro-democracy movement protests. UPDATE 3 April: EI has learned from blogs that Mahdi’s appeal hearing scheduled on 2 April 2012 as been postponed to 2 May, in order to include medical reports. EI has asked the International Committee of the Red Cross to liaise with the Red Crescent to visit him in detention.
China Action request: Scholars at Risk To:
Togo Action request: Amnesty International To:
Minister for Justice
Action: Letter re Agnite Massama, Bitsioudi Birenam and Didiba Mohamed (members of National Union of Pupils and Students of Togo) – fear of torture/ill treatment. Prisoners of conscience – detained following organisation of a general assembly to discuss the Government’s failure to honour its promises regarding student support grants and scholarships.
Action: Senator The Hon. Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs
Action request: Amnesty International
President Hu Jintao
Action: Letter re Gu Chuan scholar/blogger who was denied permission to leave China to take up a position as a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University (USA).
Action request: Education International
Action: Letter re Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb, President, Bahraini Teachers Association and Jalila al Salman, Vice-President, Bahraini Teachers Association. Concerns re health of Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb and need for international pressure on Bahraini authorities (in view of scheduled court hearing 2 May) to drop all charges against them.
Ibrahim Mohamed Hamed, Minister of the Interior
Action: Letter re unconfirmed reports that detained student activist, Taj Alsir Jaafar who commenced a hunger strike on 11 February has died. Prison authorities have refused to confirm or deny the reports, have refused his family access and have made threats against his mother.
Iran Action request: Scholars at Risk To:
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Action: Further letter re case of Abdolreza Ghanbari and other detained scholars and intellectuals. Action request: Education International To:
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Action: Letter re pending execution of Professor Abdolreza Ghanbari, lecturer of Payam e Nour University. He was arrested on 4 January 2010 and charged with enmity towards God after receiving unsolicited emails from an armed opposition group. While in detention at Evin Prison, Abdolreza Ghanbari was interrogated for 25 consecutive days and forced to confess under duress to the charges.
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
New staff in NTEU offices T
o better help you to get to know your local Union staff, we are pleased to present these brief profiles of recently arrived Branch and Division staff.
Industrial Organiser WA Division
Industrial Officer National Office
Emma Clancy has worked in politics and the media in Australia and Ireland. She studied politics at Curtin University, where she was involved in the student anti-war movement and the campaign against voluntary student unionism. Emma spent several years living in Ireland where she worked as a newspaper sub-editor. She has been involved in a range of social justice campaigns over the past decade and is currently studying law.
Holly Kemp Branch Organiser QUT Since graduating in BA in Peace and Conflict Studies, Holly has had the opportunity to test theories from her field from a number of angles; exploring collective organising, structural inequality and the pursuit of gender equality in the workplace with the Queensland Nurses Union, and later, feminist support work, recovery and peer support models of mental health ‘treatment’ with the Eating Disorders Association. Holly has also been active in Queer and Feminist organising; movement building and workshopping. Holly says that it’s the intellectual stimulation of working with the NTEU that keeps her passionate. Working with QUT staff in her role since September 2011, Holly has been very inspired by the strategic activity and analysis of the QUT Branch activists. There is a real solidarity amongst members and a great chemistry when they come together to work collaboratively on Union initiatives. Holly looks forward to working with her QUT colleagues to ensure that management are more respectful of, and influenced by, the expertise that QUT staff undoubtedly have, to resolve the problems that concern them. JULY 2012 www.nteu.org.au
Elizabeth McGrath was welcomed into the National Industrial team in May. Elizabeth has come from the AMWU Victorian Branch where she worked for four years as an inhouse lawyer. She appeared at Fair Work Australia almost daily on behalf of AMWU members and therefore has extensive experience in running applications under the Act. Elizabeth has a special interest in the plight of casuals and recently won a casual conversion case. Following this decision, SPC Ardmona recognised its obligation to convert all employees who meet the EBA criteria to ongoing positions. Elizabeth will be running litigation to coincide with the bargaining campaign. This will particularly reference the Williams v McMahon precedent as a basis to claim annual leave entitlements to employees incorrectly classified as ‘casual.’ She will also be assisting state industrial officers running applications at FWA and giving direct briefs to counsel in Federal Court matters.
David Willis Branch Organiser Deakin University David joins NTEU after 20 years working in the NSW Department of Education and Communities as a teacher, education consultant, policy advisor and program manager. David was an active member of the NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF) being workplace delegate and State Councillor. He represented the NSWTF at the 2011 Outgames International Human Rights Conference in NZ, the 2010 AEU Public Education Forum at Parliament House in Canberra and he sat on State restricted committees. As a member of the GLBTI Committee he wrote the NSWTF policy, Gender and Sexu-
ality and presented this policy in a report to Annual Conference in 2011. In his new role David has joined the Australian Services Union and has connected with GLBTI activists in both the re-established Victorian Workers Out group and NTEU.
Tim McCann Branch Organiser ANU
Tim McCann has worked as a broadcaster in local community radio for almost thirty years, and he volunteers for the National Museum of Labour. He also has experience as a performance artist, a house painter, a community based researcher, and a purveyor of organic vegies. Tim has worked in a number of roles in Canberra’s community sector. He helped to organise the National Young Unionists Conference in 2009 which he followed with his most recent position as Office Manager of Canberra’s peak union body, the Trades and Labour Council, now known as UnionsACT.
Liz Schroeder Branch Industrial Organiser Monash University Liz became a union activist while working in the Commonwealth Employment Service. She then became an Organiser with the ACOA (CPSU’s predecessor union) and the CPSU, organising in the federal Departments of Employment, Education and Training, Veterans’ Affairs, the Australian Electoral Commission and Telstra for almost 13 years. Liz returned to study and qualified as a primary teacher, where again she became an activist and Sub-Branch Secretary with the AEU. Brief stints with the Fair Work Ombudsman and Ombudsman Victoria followed, before she returned to her passion – union organising. She says ‘Many of the issues in primary teaching are the same as issues in higher education - excessive workloads, insecure work, autocratic styles of management. I’m enjoying being back in the union movement, working with members to tackle these types of issues.’ continued over page... 45
YOUR UNION ...continued from previous page
Staff movements Rob Binnie will move from the Tasmanian Division, where he has been the Division Industrial Organiser for a number of years, back to Melbourne to take up a similar role with the Victorian Division. In another return to home State, John Pezy has swapped Branch Organiser duties at Monash University for the same role at Flinders University in SA. Fran Blackbourn, previously ACT Division Organiser, has taken up the role of Branch Organiser at the University of Wollongong as a maternity leave replacement. In July, Simon Kempton, NSW Industrial Officer, moves over to Perth to take up a similar role with the WA Division. A
Annual tax statement Your annual NTEU membership fees tax statement is available after 1 July. Statements available online only. Statements will not be posted out. 1: Go to www.nteu.org.au 2: Click on ‘Member Login’
ID = Your NTEU membership no.
Password = Your surname in CAPS (or whatever you may have changed it to)
3: Select ‘Print Tax Statement’ to download and print the PDF.
NTEU Tax Guide 2012 The annual NTEU Tax Guide, produced in cooperation with Teacher Tax, is available in the centre of this edition of Advocate. Also available online at www.nteu.org.au/tax
NTEU ONLINE MEMBERSHIP DATABASE Update your details: In order for NTEU to keep you in touch, it is important we have your latest details.
NTEU gender equity audit
TEU is pleased to announce that it will shortly be conducting an internal gender equity audit.
This ‘State of the Union’ audit is intended to provide an overview of the current status of gender equity within NTEU while also serving as an opportunity to generate discussion around equity issues. The aim of the audit is to assist NTEU in both monitoring and improving areas relating to gender equity within the organisation. The audit is being conducted with the support of the Women’s Action Committee, and all levels of the Union will be participating. More information on this audit will be released shortly. A
How to check your membership details or download your tax statement online
If any of the following points apply to you, please change your details online or contact us immediately.
MEMBERSHIP DETAILS Have you moved house recently? ÎÎ If you have nominated your home address as your NTEU contact address, you must update it.
Has your family name changed? Have your workplace details changed? Has your Dept/School had a name change or merged with another? Are you moving to a different institution? ÎÎ Transfer of membership from one institution to another is not automatic.
Have your employment details changed? ÎÎ Please notify us to ensure you are paying the correct fees.
For any of the above membership enquiries, please contact: Melinda Valsorda, Membership Officer ph (03) 9254 1910 email firstname.lastname@example.org
CREDIT CARD/DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENTS Have your credit card (ie expiry date) or direct debit account details changed? ÎÎ Please notify us immediately.
Are you leaving university employment? ÎÎ If you are no longer an NTEU member, deductions will continue until the National Office is notified.
For all credit card and direct debit enquiries, please contact: Tamara Labadze, Finance Officer ph (03) 9254 1910 email email@example.com
PAYROLL DEDUCTION PAYMENTS Have your payroll deductions suddenly stopped without your authority? ÎÎ contact your payroll dept urgently.
Payroll deduction queries should be directed to your Branch or Division office.
Annual tax statement: Available for download after 1 July. Statements will not be posted out. 46
1: Click on ‘Member Login’ ID = Your NTEU membership number Password = Your surname in CAPITALS 2: ‘Edit Your Profile’ (to change personal details) ‘Change Your Work Details’ ‘Transfer Institution’ ‘Change your Payment Method’ ‘Print Tax Statements’ (after 1 July)
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
NATIONAL TERTIARY EDUCATION UNION I want to join NTEU I am currently a member and wish to update my details The information on this form is needed for aspects of NTEU’s work and will be treated as confidential.
YOUR PERsONAL DETAILs
|STATE |POSTCODE |MOBILE |DATE Of BIRTH | MALE fEMALE |ARE YOU AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL/TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER? YES
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HOME PHONE INCL AREA CODE EMAIL HAVE YOU PREVIOUSLY BEEN AN NTEU MEMBER?
YES: AT WHICH INSTITUTION?
YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYMENT DETAILs
|DEPT/SCHOOL |CLASSIfICATION LEVEL LECTB, HEW4
PlEASE USE MY HoME ADDrESS For All MAIlINg
|ANNUAL SALARY If KNOWN
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CONTINUINg/ fIxED TERM PERMANENT
HoUrS PEr WK
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sEssIONAL ACADEMIC gENERAL/PROfEssIONAL sTAff CAsUAL
You may resign by written notice to the Division or Branch Secretary. Where you cease to be eligible to become a member, resignation shall take effect on the date the notice is received or on the day specified in your notice, whichever is later. In any other case, you must give at least two weeks notice. Members are required to pay dues and levies as set by the Union from time to time in accordance with NTEU rules. Further information on financial obligations, including a copy office use only: Membership no. of the rules, is available from your Branch.
If YOU ARE CAsUAL/sEssIONAL, COMPLETE PAYMENT OPTION 4 ONLY
If YOU ARE fULL TIME OR PART TIME, PLEAsE COMPLETE EITHER PAYMENT OPTION 1, 2 OR 3
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office use only: % of salary deducted
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Of YoUr ADDrESS HEREBY AUTHORISE INSTITUTIoN
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QUARTERLY HALf-YEARLY ANNUALLY
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PLEAsE ACCEPT MY CHEqUE/MONEY ORDER OR CREDIT CARD: MAsTERCARD vIsA
I hereby authorise the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) APCA User ID No.062604 to arrange for funds to be debited from my/our account at the financial institution identified and in accordance with the terms described in the Direct Debit request (DDr) Service Agreement
Full text of DDR available at www.nteu.org.au/ddr
REGULARITY Of PAYMENT:
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Choose your salary range. Select 6 month or 1 year membership. Tick the appropriate box. Pay by cheque, money order or credit card.
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I hereby authorise the Merchant to debit my Card account with the amount and at intervals specified above and in the event of any change in the charges for these goods/ services to alter the amount from the appropriate date in accordance with such change. This authority shall stand, in respect of the above specified Card and in respect of any Card issued to me in renewal or replacement thereof, until I notify the Merchant in writing of its cancellation. Standing Authority for recurrent Periodic Payment by Credit Card.
| MASTERCARD VISA |PAYMENT: MONTHLY
I hereby authorise the Institution or its duly authorised servants and agents to deduct from my salary by regular instalments, dues and levies (as determined from time to time by the Union), to NTEU or its authorised agents. All payments on my behalf and in accordance with this authority shall be deemed to be payments by me personally. This authority shall remain in force until revoked by me in writing. I also consent to my employer supplying NTEU with updated information relating to my employment status.
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Description of goods/services: NTEU Membership Dues. To: NTEU, Po Box 1323, Sth Melbourne VIC 3205
‡Associated bodies: NTEU (NSW); University of Qld Academic Staff Association (Union of Employees) at UQ; Union of Australian College Academics (WA Branch) Industrial Union of Workers at Edith Cowan University & Curtin University; Curtin University Staff Association (Inc.) at Curtin University; Staff Association of Edith Cowan University (Inc.) at ECU
NTEU National Office PO Box 1323, South Melbourne VIC 3205 T (03) 9254 1910 F (03) 9254 1915 E firstname.lastname@example.org
Contacting NTEU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
office phone fax email website
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NATIONAL OFFICE STAFF Officers & Central Resources Unit Executive Officer – General Secretary. . . . . . . . . Anastasia Kotaidis ICT System Administrator/Help Desk. . . . . . . . . . Tam Vuong Executive Officer – Meetings & Events . . . . . . . . Tracey Coster Administrative Officer – Reception. . . . . . . . . . . . Renee Veal
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Industrial Unit Industrial Unit Coordinator (Acting).. . . . . . . . . . Peter Summers Senior Industrial Officer (Strategy & Policy). . . . Ken McAlpine Industrial Officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wayne Cupido, Libby McGrath Industrial Support Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Miin Yeo
Policy & Research Unit Policy & Research Unit Coordinator.. . . . . . . . . . Paul Kniest Policy & Research Officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terri MacDonald Jen Tsen-Kwok
Private Bag 101, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7001 (03) 6226 7575 (03) 6226 2172 email@example.com www.nteu.org.au/tasmania
NATIONAL EXECUTIVE National President. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeannie Rea Vice-President (Academic). . . . . . . . . . . . Gregory McCarthy SA Div Vice-President (General). . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gabe Gooding UWA
National Indigenous Coordinator. . . . . . . . . . . . . Adam Frogley National Indigenous Organiser. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Celeste Liddle
General Secretary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Grahame McCulloch National Assistant Secretary. . . . . . . . . . Matthew McGowan
Recruitment & Training Unit
Executive Members Lyn Bloom WA Div Derek Corrigan ANU Genevieve Kelly NSW Div Margaret Lee Qld Div Virginia Mansel Lees La Trobe Helen Masterman-Smith CSU Susan Price UNSW Michael Thomson Sydney
National Organiser. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Michael Evans National Publications Coordinator. . . . . . . . . . . . Paul Clifton National Media Officer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrew Nette Membership Records Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Melinda Valsorda Administrative Officer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Julie-Ann Veal
Finance Unit Finance Unit Coordinator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jenny Savage Finance Officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gracia Ho, Joanne Riley, Alex Ghvaladze, Tamara Labadze, Lee Powell, Sonia Uthuppu, Daphne Zhang
Andrew Bonnell UQ John Fitzsimmons CQU Kelvin Michael Tas Div Colin Long Vic Div Terry Mason UWS Stephen Darwin ACT Div Kevin Rouse SA Div vacant NT Div
Indigenous Executive Member. . . . . . . . . Jillian Miller UniSA
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 2
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Members' magazine for the National Tertiary Education Union. Vol. 19, no. 2, July 2012