Advocate JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL TERTIARY EDUCATION UNION
Volume 19, Number 3, November 2012
REPRESENTING EMPLOYEES IN HIGHER EDUCATION, TAFE, ADULT EDUCATION, R ACGP, RESEARCH INSTITUTES AND UNIVERSIT Y COMPANIES
Respect, recognition & reward in bargaining
TAFE â€“ market rules
PLUS: Bargaining out of the blocks General staff overworked Spooked by MOOCS? ERA: Eggs & Baskets A Spring Harvest of Research QUTE: LGBTI group re-formed Bluestocking Week revival a huge success MyUniversity: neoliberalism & knowledge University funding crisis in California 2012 National Council and Life Members
$6000 Joan Hardy Scholarship for Post-Graduate Nursing Research NTEU has established a scholarship to the value of $6,000 in memory of the late Joan Hardy, who died in 2003. Joan Hardy was active in higher education unionism for over 30 years, during which time she held many positions at local and state levels. She was the first woman President of UACA (one of the predecessors to NTEU) a position she occupied for five years. Joan was a tireless advocate for union amalgamation and was a key negotiator in the formation of NTEU, becoming Vice-President when the Union was formed in 1993. The Joan Hardy Scholarship for post-graduate nursing research recognises the contributions Joan made to higher education and higher education unionism. Applications
Applications should include the following information:
The Scholarship will be available for any student undertaking a study of nurses, nursing culture or practices, or historical aspects of nursing as a lay or professional practice. The student need not therefore be or have been a nurse and can be undertaking the study in disciplines/schools other than nursing.
Current CV. Details of current study focus- what question is being examined and its value to nursing. Evidence of award enrolment.
The Scholarship will be paid in two instalments; half ($3,000) on the awarding of the Scholarship and the remainder ($3,000) on evidence of submission of the thesis.
Demonstration of capability of completion within one year of being award the Scholarship.
Applicants must be currently enrolled in an academic award of an Australian public university, and expect to submit the thesis within one year of being awarded the Scholarship.
References from the nursing industry, a nursing academic and head of research committee of the University where enrolled.
Expected date of completion of award.
Evidence of trade union membership from the relevant Union.
Applications can be forwarded to: Michael Evans, NTEU National Organiser, PO Box 1323, Sth Melbourne VIC 3205, email email@example.com Applications close on Friday 25 January 2013. A decision will be made in mid-February 2013.
Women too often carry the burden of social inequities. These women are working to change that.
Of the world’s poorest people, it is estimated that 70% are women. With the support of Australian unionists and unions, Union Aid AbroadAPHEDA is working to redress this appalling gender imbalance.
L-R: Jessica Sequeira, Abelita da Silva, Ricar Pascoela, Ana Filomena Mariano and Henyta Casimira - some of the founding members of the Working Women’s Centre Timor-Leste. Photos by Shabnam Hameed.
Almost three-quarters of our projects are aimed at improving opportunities for women and, by doing this, improving their families’ lives too. In Timor-Leste, we are supporting women like Jessica, Abelita, Ricar, Ana and Henyta in a vital poverty reduction initiative. These community-minded women helped form the Working Women’s Centre TimorLeste, which is working to increase women’s workforce participation and improve incomes and working conditions.
Your solidarity will make a difference.
Union Aid Abroad APHEDA
The overseas humanitarian aid agency of the ACTU
You can support initiatives like this by becoming a Global Jusice Partner. Visit www.apheda.org.au or call 1800 888 674 to learn more.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publisher................................Grahame McCulloch Editor......................................Jeannie Rea Production................................Paul Clifton Editorial Assistance..................Anastasia Kotaidis Feedback and advertising....... email@example.com
Advocate JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL TERTIARY EDUCATION UNION
VOLUME 19, NUMBER 3, NOVEMBER 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.
On the cover: NTEU National Council, Melbourne, October 2012
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.
Photo: Paul Clifton SPECIAL FEATURES TAFE
FROM THE OFFICERS
Spooked by MOOCs?
Jeannie Rea, National President
Worldwide under investment in universities
Grahame McCulloch, General Secretary
The Asian Century – on a shoestring? Matt McGowan, National Assistant Secretary
UPDATE 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Bargaining out of the starting blocks VC signs White Ribbon Oath Living Dangerously: The NTEU Lecture 2012 Chief Scientist’s Committee to oversee new Defence regime SA Division Indigenous Forum NTEU launches edXpress monthly e-newsletter UTAS redundancy win; Higher ed hit hard by MYEFO savings NTEU stands against Queensland Govt cuts NTEU gender equity audit; Future of the University NTEU LGBTI group re-forms General Staff donate $200m to employers Curtin bargaining concludes 70 NTEU members recognised for teaching excellence Kenneth Freeman receives PM’s Science Prize
New IPC takes office Review of Higher Education Access & Outcomes released
Crowdsourcing Learning News from the Net, by Pat Wright
33 34 35
The measure of things
Thesis Whisperer, Inger Meewburn
NTEU National Council 2012 Life Members and Merit Awards 2012 Greg McCarthy retires as National Vice-President (Academic) New staff in NTEU offices Education and training strategy
ERA: Eggs and baskets
John Lamp muses on the numerous of research output assessment systems we’ve endured in just the last decade.
Bluestocking Week: a successful revival!
This August saw the highly successful revival of Bluestocking Week on Australian university campuses, organised by NTEU with the NUS.
‘Bluestocking’ sees red about the media treatment of women
Carmel Shute chats to Professor Frances Separovic, biophysicist and wrecker of glass ceilings.
My University: neoliberalism and knowledge
Raewyn Connell looks into the MyUniversity website and the neoliberal policy logic that has been changing education since the mid 1980s.
Student evaluations: Perceptions of learning NOT assessment of teaching quality Sara Beavis reports that there is increasing concern over the manner in which student evaluations are used.
YOUR UNION 36 40 43 44 46
A spring harvest of research
ln bargaining, academic (or intellectual) freedom is an issue that deserves attention, reports Kelvin Michael.
Lowering the Boom, by Ian Lowe
Letter from New Zealand/Aotearoa, by Sandra Grey, TEU
Armidale forum puts spotlight on universities & communities
Michael Evans reports on the Union’s successful lecture and Q&A-style event held in Armidale, NSW, featuring the ABC’s Robyn Williams.
Tam U reform soldiers on
Feliz Navitas, but can we return this gift?
Are our uni’s getting bang for their marketing bucks?
In 2011 Australia’s universities spent more than $216m on advertising, marketing and promotion – about one third of the amount they spent on repair and maintenance. Are they getting value for money?
INDIGENOUS NEWS 14 15
TAFE – market rules
The TAFE system is under sustained attack, not just in Victoria but also in NSW and Queensland.
Miguel Beltrán speaks to unions in Britain
British union academics gave a standing ovation to Dr Miguel Angel Beltrán, the Colombian academic freed last year after an international campaign by education trade unionists.
In a series of reviews, NTEU will examine the issues around higher education, public funding and ongoing commentary, in several developed and developing economies. The first of these international reviews is on the State of California. Higher education has been a public funding priority since the 1960s, but the state has been hard hit by the GFC.
FROM THE OFFICERS
JEANNIE REA, NATIONAL PRESIDENT
Spooked by MOOCs? The key issue is still decent jobs and secure work W
hile there is much scaremongering about whether free massive open online courses (MOOCs) are going to replace academics and universities, there is too little focus on how the restructuring of universities is already destroying careers for academics and general staff. In just ten years the proportion of university staff in continuing positions has dropped by 10 per cent. Today only around 35 per cent of university employees are in continuing positions. Digital technology has not been a major factor. And even where it has, adopting new technologies changes jobs; it does not determine the employment arrangements. University managements decided to casualise teaching and to employ the digital technology professionals and others on fixed term contracts. While inadequate Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) funding is the fault of the Federal Government, responsibility for the decline in ongoing employment sits with university decision makers. Consequently, it is not at all surprising that the application of digital technology to learning and teaching is constantly correlated by management and staff alike as being about cutting costs. The technologies are expensive and need to be continuously updated, so the perverse logic is to save on labour costs. Rather than taking on entry level academic staff, universities hire casual academics to do the teaching and then get some learning advisers and digital technology support staff on short term contracts. If these are the university staff with whom students have direct contact, what messages are they receiving about the valuing of their learning by the university? Not surprisingly more students are complaining about the lack of attention, and worse still, others just lower their expectations or give up. Currently attrition is over 12 per cent. This is all outstandingly short-sighted for a university system working to maintain a well-earned international reputation in an increasingly crowded and competitive global education environment. As governments around our region invest heavily in all levels of education, Australia is increasingly seen to be turning to other revenue sources including being overly reliant on the income from international student fees to keep courses running, staff employed and facilities maintained. There is no doubt that the ways we teach in universities will continue to change as we utilise digital technologies and as the numbers and diversity of students expands. Digital technology tools can open up ways for many more people to participate in higher education. Whilst recognising that there is not yet equality in access to the technology, in Australia, we do at least have political commitment to developing that access. Universities are not going to disappear, nor is the need for great face-to face teaching. I don’t think we will disappear into the Cloud or be replaced by holograms. And rather than accept that students will desert campuses in favour of acquiring their learning through 2
their mobile phone, we should question whether this is desirable. For many students studying on campus can be a life changing opportunity. But as this debate continues, we must also focus on who is going to provide these rich learning opportunities. While advocating for all jobs in universities to be secure and decent jobs, we must also vigorously debate what is happening to the job of being an academic. I was startled at a recent symposium where a speaker proclaimed the end of the ‘super teacher’ and argued that academic teaching would come from all sorts of places outside the university and the teacher would become a ‘coach’ on the sidelines, or as another suggested, a ‘parademic’. Academic labour is being taylorised in ways unimaginable a decade ago. While we have focused upon advocating research informed teaching as distinctive of higher education, the many facets of teaching have been divvied up and parcelled out. Academics course coordinators find that they end up supervising sessionals to do the actual teaching. They no longer provide academic advice as this is now a specific job. Course design and development is now the province of specialists, who often have no university teaching background. Course approval is largely in the hands of bureaucrats. We will debate the reasons for this, but it has much to do with the sheer numbers of students and the lack of time available for academics to undertake all these jobs, as well as the lack of opportunity (or even desire) to properly learn the new technological skills. Other academics have decided to specialise in the digital learning and teaching environment and have had to let other things go. Many academics are trying to do it all, plus research! However, they are just collapsing under the weight and concerned that they are not doing anything to the standard they set for themselves. No one worries about quality more than academics. The academic job is changing, but we cannot let the tenured teaching and research academic become a rarity replaced by rafts of often highly qualified and skilled, but precariously employed learning and teaching professionals employed casually and on short term contracts. This is not educationally or financially sustainable. Teaching is the core business of universities, not to be reduced to a series of projects because of funding shortfalls and mistaken budget priorities. Australian universities do need to look hard at their workforce planning and practices. Seeing their workforce as dispensable and interchangeable will not set them up for the digital revolution in higher education teaching and learning; as it doesn’t even support the analogue ancien regime.
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
FROM THE OFFICERS
GRAHAME MCCULLOCH, GENERAL SECRETARY
EI Conference reveals worldwide under investment in universities E
ducation International (EI) is the world’s largest international trade union federation representing more than 30 million education workers in 170 countries from nearly 500 national trade unions. Collectively EI represents around one sixth of the world’s trade union membership. Within EI there are more than 1.5 million members in the higher education sector, and it is one of the fastest growing segments of EI’s membership. Since 2004, I have had the privilege of being the only higher education member of EI’s 26 person Executive Board. In this capacity I recently attended (along with President Jeannie Rea) EI’s Eighth World Higher Education and Research Conference in Buenos Aires. While we face continuing funding and quality issues in the Australian university sector (highlighted most recently by the Government’s Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook cuts to research and teaching programs), it was sobering to hear the scale and depth of cuts to universities and education more widely in Europe and North America in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. Outlined below is (a much shortened version of) my summary statement of the Buenos Aires proceedings as Chair of the final plenary session. This Eighth EI World Higher Education and Research Conference has, in my judgement, been our most successful. With over 120 delegates from 54 higher education unions in 38 countries we now have a wider and deeper base and high visibility in EI and increasing influence with global higher education decision makers. We have come a long way since seven people met as a higher education caucus under a tent in the hot sun of Harare at the first EI Congress in Zimbabwe in 1995. It is particularly encouraging to have new member organisations join us from Mongolia, Palestine, Peru, Chile and the Philippines, and it is gratifying to have colleagues from four African countries - Ghana, Senegal, South Africa and Botswana - participate in our deliberations. Over the last three days we have identified core common issues which we all confront in our own countries – funding, quality, trade union and academic rights, equity, privatisation, government obsessions with measurement and rankings, and the importance of solidarity and cooperation. We are all agreed that higher education is fundamentally important in all regions of the world – as a catalyst for critical thinking and problem solving, and as a driver of social and economic development. And we are united in recognising the importance of strong trade unions to defend and extend our members’ professional and industrial interests. The global economic crisis is primarily a transatlantic phenomenon based on market failure and debt explosion in Europe and North America. We have heard of the wide and deep cuts to European public education spending – Latvia (55%), Romania (50%), Hungary (27.5%), Greece (20%), Ireland (15%), UK (12%) and Spain (10%) to name but a few – and the drive by neo-liberal politicians in the US to break the right of education unions to collectively bargain and publicly campaign against the deep cuts to federal and state US spending on universities and colleges. In California alone, there has been a reduction of nearly US$3 billion for public subsidies for higher education. While politicians in rich countries tend to blame public spending (including universities and education more generally) for the crisis, we know that increased public investment is an essential counter-cyclical measure at times of deep economic downturn. The picture in much (but not all) of Asia and Latin America is rather different with high rates of economic growth, but an uneven NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
and inequitable distribution of the benefits of growth. Increased education investment (including strengthening domestic university systems) is a necessary condition for continued economic growth in these regions. It is interesting to contrast the big public education investment increases being made by Brazil and Argentina with the failed policies of Europe and North America. At the same time, it is disturbing to see rising levels of inequality in the rapidly growing economies of North, East and South Asia, and the tendency to develop elite rather than accessible university systems and to rely on foreign and/or private investment to drive tertiary education expansion. In other regions – notably much of Africa, parts of Asia and Central and Eastern Europe, and some Pacific Island countries – we continue to see absolute and relative economic and social underdevelopment with low economic growth rates, a small tax base, and serious underinvestment in education and training (including universities). Many countries in these regions are deeply dependent on (and exploited by) foreign public and private university providers. This highlights the pitfalls and dangers of commercially driven and unregulated trade in education services. The Conference Statement and Recommendations that we are adopting highlight the need for us to mobilise at national and international level – in other words to think globally but act locally. We can, along with trade unions in other sectors, make a difference. The political and economic environment is not fixed, and there are viable alternatives to the dominant neo-liberal discourse. This is underlined by the significance of us meeting here in Latin America where (at least in some countries) we see a different and successful social and economic model – based on social cooperation, public investment and planning, and a collaborative approach to regional integration. On behalf of the Conference I want to thank our Argentinian hosts (CONADU) and the EI Latin American regional office for their hard work in putting our conference together, and for their hospitality and inspirations. We look forward to widening our work and base in the African region when we meet in Ghana for our ninth conference in 2014. 3
FROM THE OFFICERS
MATTHEW MCGOWAN, NATIONAL ASSISTANT SECRETARY
The Asian Century – on a shoestring? T
he Australia in the Asian Century White Paper has a lot to recommend it and the government needs to be congratulated on such a broad and forward looking agenda. There is, however, some reality checks required.
The White Paper sets out an ambitious and laudable set of goals to guage is also about learning another culture, history, and ways of start a serious discussion within the country about our place and seeing the world. roles in this part of the world. It is fair to say that the Government has The Union is aware of numerous universities that over recent years shown it is prepared to show leadership to the Australian community, have either been reducing their language courses, or cutting them sections of which are still tentative about reconciling our European altogether. These include Curtin University, James Cook University, background with the practical reality of our home address and the University of Tasmania, La Trobe University, Central Queensland Unimix of experiences that now make up the community. versity, Victoria University and the University of Canberra. This is an attempt to raise this discussion to one of national signifiThere are fewer and fewer courses available each year. It seems cance and for that it must be applauded. However, there is a real conextraordinary given our history of Vietnamese immigration after the cern about the resources that will be made available to the university Vietnam War that there is possibly only one Vietnamese language sector for our part in this vision. course in the country, at Victoria University. And it takes a special Importantly, universities have featured as significant participants dedication to a course of study for people to enrol in subjects as difin the large canvas. Our role as places for cultural, political, and ecoficult as a language at another university or by distance education. nomic exchange is well recognised, and the status of our universities In a market-based system where institutions are struggling to meet is seen as an important indicator of our Australia’s standing in a fast the costs of their core delivery, managements are making short term developing region decisions to cut expensive and The AsiaBound announcement, low enrolment courses. The social It seems extraordinary given our history which creates a range of supports responsibility arguments have less of Vietnamese immigration ... that there for students seeking to study in the sway in this environment than they region, is a good start. It provides once did. is possibly only one Vietnamese language for a funded student exchange The costs of administration of course in the country... with scholarships that encourage the AsiaBound programs are a relaand assists students to be a part of tively small minor issue. The costs this shift. What is not clear is how universities will be able to absorb of putting more effort into teaching languages, and into the research the costs of administering the program. required to lift more of our universities into the top 100 in the world It may seem churlish to focus on administration costs of a program are a different order of magnitude all together. that is about the focus of our efforts over the next few decades, but We know the Government has financial constraints. We suspect there is a very real sense that the Federal Government is unwilling to the Opposition will be worse for the sector on past history and a recognise that the sector remains underfunded. casual look at their financial commitments. Unfortunately in light of the cuts arising from the Mid Year EcoBut there has to be an honest discussion about what can really be nomic Review (MYEFO), there is some concern about the willingness done without the resources needed to support it. Online delivery is of the Government to recognise the consequences of the outlined not the answer and it won’t save the billions of dollars required for objectives. The talk of MOOCs, and the market model of the sector, the transformations outlined in the Paper. As has been said by others, all feel like attempts by one side or the other of the political debate to if online teaching is so great, will we now be teaching high school argue that we can do more with less. maths and English online? But for all the talk, it still remains true that you can’t educate withOn the other hand, committing to increase government investment out staff and you can’t research without researchers. Student staff to 1% of GDP over the next 10 years in line with many of our OECD ratios continue to rise. Language courses continue to be cut because colleagues would be a signal that they are serious. At the very least, it is financially unviable for universities to run courses with small stuthey should commit to the immediate 10% increase recommended dent intakes. In the past, these have been maintained by others cross by the Bradley review, and supported by the Base Funding Review. subsidising the courses because they were seen as important to a So far, there is not even recognition that this recommendation is larger field of study, or because of a local ethnic community interest outstanding. Those working with more students and fewer resources that has been able to convice the University of the need. know the reality even if Canberra remains unwilling to. Fulfilling civil responsibilities has seen by some in our institutions It is a grand and impressive agenda, but it can’t be done on a shoeas being important in a local or global environment. Learning a lanstring. 4
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
sions on the Union’s Indigenous claim have been progressing well, the issue of a binding numerical target remains under negotiation. The Branch has organised a number of members’ meetings around the negotiations and is communicating regularly with the membership on the progress of negotiations.
Bargaining out of the starting blocks
n an exciting start to the bargaining round, the first new Agreement has been reached, at Curtin University of Technology (see p.12 for a summary).
University of Sydney
University of New England
Bargaining meetings have been held regularly, but the University continues to show little interest in engaging in the process, insisting on seeing all the Union’s draft clauses before being able to respond. The University’s repeated position is that it believes most items proposed by NTEU are not appropriate for inclusion in the Agreement. The campaign committee is meeting fortnightly, and has coordinated a raft of bargaining publicity, as well as fortnightly Branch meetings for members focussing on specific issues. The first of these meetings was on the Union’s domestic violence claim, with an academic member explaining the background and the need for domestic violence leave. Other topics scheduled for discussion at these meetings before the end of 2012 include ‘Enterprise bargaining: where do I fit in?’, an analysis of the University’s finances, and an overview of progress made so far.
Bargaining meetings have been held fortnightly since May, with management serving its interim log on NTEU on 21 June. Management has indicated a desire for more ‘flexibility’ around fixed term contracts, the introduction of ‘teaching intensive roles’, and more streamlined misconduct and managing change processes. After serving an interim log of claims in May, our Branch has now served its final log, and will be meeting with management on 16 November to discuss resourcing and the bargaining timetable for general staff bargaining.
RMIT University Bargaining is now progressing intensively with meetings scheduled fortnightly. NTEU has drafted a full version of the Agreement including all the Union’s proposed claims, and has tabled this with management. The Branch has also achieved an excellent resourcing framework agreement, giving free access to the University email system and 40% time release for two NTEU bargainers. A Sarah Roberts, U’s Industrial support NTE Coordinator g in ain
aining Collective Barg
Respect. Recognition. Reward.
Central Queensland University The CQU Branch served its Log of Claims on management in late June, and has had a number of bargaining ‘lock ins’ since then. The Branch has reported good progress on most claims, particularly the Professional Staff claims and the Academic Workload claim. Although discus-
I barg campaign.
Download a ‘Respect.Recognition.Reward’ at Find out more g.org.au sitybargainin www.univer poster to display your support for NTEU bargaining: www.universitybargaining.org.au r say! EU to have you
ent – join NT
It’s your Agreem
PO Box 1323, Sth
u.org.au 3205 national@nte
VC signs White Ribbon Oath
his year, the University of Adelaide Branch Bluestocking Group have chosen to focus on the issue of Domestic Violence and its effect on the workplace. With this in mind, the Branch will be organising a number of morning teas and other activities around White Ribbon Day on 25 November to raise awareness about the issue and the campaign. People will also be asked to sign the White Ribbon Oath, which pledges never to commit or allow violence against women. The Branch is happy to report that Vice-Chancellor, Professor Warren Bebbington was the first person to sign the White Ribbon Oath. NTEU believes this issue should be an area of cooperation rather than confrontation, one where the Union and university management work in partnership. A Katherine Gale, Branch Organiser, University of Adelaide
NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
Top: Shelley Pezy and Ros Prosser, Bluestocking Group representatives, with VC Warren Bebbington Bottom: VC Bebbington signs the White Ribbon Oath
Living Dangerously: Playwright David Williamson presents the NTEU Lecture 2012
TEU is thrilled that David Williamson, Australia’s foremost playwright, presented the second annual NTEU Lecture at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle on Thursday 15 November. The annual NTEU Lecture is a free event that offers a public forum for an eminent Australian to present unique perspectives on aspects of higher education and its impact on the economic, social and cultural frameworks of Australian society. The inaugural lecture was presented last year in Melbourne by Professor Ian Chubb, Australia’s Chief Scientist. Williamson’s lecture, ‘Living dangerously: The future of creative arts education in Australian universities’, reflected on his own career, traverse what is happening to the creative arts within higher education in Australia and argue the case for greater funding and institutional support. Williamson, the creator of more than 40 plays, studied Mechanical Engineering which led to a lectureship in engineering at Swinburne Institute (now University) of Technology in Melbourne.
‘But my creative desires were more suited to writing plays than assessing stress points in metal scaffolding. In the creative ferment of the late sixties and early seventies, I managed to move into writing as a way of making a living,’ he said. ‘Throughout my career, however, most of the highly talented Australians I have had the privilege of working with have found their path into theatre through tertiary education at TAFE or university. These are the people that given life to my words and form to my scaffolding... actors, directors, choreographers, lighting specialists, camera operators, and editors. ‘It takes a large, well-coordinated and welltrained group of professionals to give real life to an idea. Whether it be a play or movie, Australia is blessed with some of the world’s best in their respected fields and their collaborative efforts have not only given pleas-
David Williamson (second from right) at the tenth anniversary of the first performance of The Removalists at La Mama. 6
ure to millions of people, they have helped me develop the reputation I have been lucky enough to develop over the years.’ Williamson said that these people didn’t come to their roles by accident. ‘They had the benefit of an education that helped them become the true professionals they are today. People like Cate Blanchett and Hugh Jackman are all well known Australians who started their careers in a university or institute that specialised in high quality education. Today many of Australia’s creative arts programs are suffering death by a thousand cuts,’ he said. ‘If you want engineers to build roads, if you want architects to design buildings, if you want research into cancer cures, if you want actors to act, playwrights to write, directors to direct, painters to paint, sculptures to sculpt, musicians to muse, then the budgets and support our universities and institutions such as NIDA, the National Institute of Dramatic Arts, must be appropriate and on-going.’ On Wednesday 14 November, the night before the 2nd NTEU Lecture, Williamson opened his latest play, ‘Managing Carmen’, at Perth’s Black Swan Theatre Company. It premiered in Brisbane at the Queensland State Theatre on 18 October where it received a standing ovation. The NTEU Lecture was recorded by ABC Radio National for broadcast on its program, ‘Big Ideas’. A Carmel Shute, Media Officer www.nteu.org.au/lecture NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
Chief Scientist’s Committee to oversee new Defence regime for two years
he new Defence Trade Controls Act will have important implications for the university sector, including an increased burden of risk and potential erosion of academic freedom. The Act not only extends the scope of technologies captured by export controls through the Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL) but for the first time creates a wider ambit that will apply to ‘intangibles’, including the publication and wider communication of scientific research with overseas researchers or organisations. Prior to its passing on 31 October 2012, control of the export of defence and dual use goods was set out in the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 and was extended to limited ‘intangible transfers’ by the Weapons of Mass Destruction Act 1995. Under this legislation, interaction by the Department of Defence with the university research sector was limited to largely tangible and predictable types of restricted technologies. In the last stages of the parliamentary debate, Parliament failed to deliver a defence
from prosecution for university staff engaged with public and fundamental research. As a compromise, the university sector will be protected from criminal liability for two years, with the Chief Scientist overseeing a Steering Group that will develop, test out and monitor a regime and the implications for the sector. The Act has much wider implications than most Australian university researchers and staff would first assume. Take, for instance, recent research into botox being used to fight asthma. This research could potentially be caught up in the legislative net because Botulinum Toxin (botox) along with a wide array of other human pathogens is on the DSGL. The point is that the burden of risk through ignorance or misunderstanding of the legislation is imposed upon univer-
SA holds first Indigenous forum
he first South Australian Division Indigenous forum was held at the National Wine Centre, University of Adelaide on 3 August 2012. Attended by two-thirds of the entire South Australian Indigenous membership, with all universities well-represented, it was the first in a series of Division Indigenous Forums planned around Australia as we head into the next bargaining round. The forum was opened by then Indigenous Policy Committee Chair and current South Australia Division Indigenous representative, Jillian Miller. After an acknowledgement of country, the members took part in a ‘yarn session’ where all introduced themselves, spoke about their roles within their universities, and discussed local issues affecting Indigenous staff at their institutions. Common themes that came out of the yarn session were racism and lateral violence on campus, as well as cultural competency of both the universities and the Union.
NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
sity researchers who could now have the threat of up to ten years in jail on top of all the other worries that go with undertaking ‘world-class’ research. NTEU is greatly concerned that academic freedom is being eroded through the rise in corporate models of university management and increasing commercialisation of university research. The passage of this latest legislation simply adds further to the chilling of free inquiry, imposing what can only be described as a political constraint on the way researchers communicate the results of their research with international colleagues. The actual impact upon the professional interests of university staff will not be clear for some time. In the meantime, the NTEU will engage constructively with the Chief Scientist’s Steering Group, and will ensure the interests of the Australian research community are heard throughout the implementation of the Act. In the best case scenario, the outcome of the Steering Committee would support a self-regulatory process which complements the existing policies and codes on the conduct of research. A Jen Tsen Kwok, Policy & Research Officer
Jillian Miller introduced the Indigenous claims going into the next round. The news that Indigenous clauses would be the first items on the bargaining agenda was well-received. Participants also heard National Indigenous Coordinator Adam Frogley give an overview of the findings of the recent branch survey of current Indigenous clauses and their effectiveness. This data showed that many of the clauses need to be strengthened so that they can be enforced where universities fail to adhere to their responsibilities to Indigenous staff and communities. The participants were empowered by this information and determined to ensure that clauses are not only strengthened but that the membership is grown and mobilised in order to get the best bargaining outcomes possible. The event finished up with delegates having the opportunity to meet and chat informally over drinks and nibbles. The National Indigenous Unit would like to thank Jillian and the SA Indigenous membership for such a wonderful forum, and we look forward to visiting other Divisions soon. A Celeste Liddle, National Indigenous Organiser www.nteu.org.au/indigenous
‘edXpress yourself’ with an edXpressionist vision of tertiary education
dXpress is the new free subscription based e-bulletin from the NTEU with news and views on what’s happening on our campuses around the country. In early October, all members were sent the first edition of edXpress but need to subscribe to receive future editions. The first edition included articles on the $200 million donated by general staff to unis in unpaid overtime, tales of cuts at UNE, ANU, UTAS and Macquarie, the Fair Work Australia decision on that infamous Facebook sacking, the victory on workloads at CSU, and much more. You can see a copy of the first edition at www.nteu.org.au/edXpress/archive. Pleasingly, the item on general staff being the biggest charity donors to universities caught the attention of The Australian’s HES supplement which followed it up with a half-page interview with Gabe Gooding, WA Division Secretary (formerly Vice-President General Staff ). The second edition went to press at the same time as Advocate and included features on MOOCS, attempts by the Victorian and Tasmanian Governments to take control of universities by taking control of university and TAFE councils, cuts and more cuts and why we all stand to gain by going home on time on 21 November. We’d love to hear from you! Send your stories, including any quirky or funny
ones for the Xfiles column, to Carmel Shute, Media Officer firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to ring with ideas too: 03 9254 1910. You can subscribe anytime at the edXpress website: www.nteu.org.au/edxpress. A Carmel Shute, Media Officer www.nteu.org.au/edxpress
UTAS redundancy win
he University of Tasmania has been asking staff for ‘expressions of interest’ to take voluntary separation from the University. These discussions have been occurring mostly behind closed doors where staff feel pressured into ‘expressing interest’ in leaving. Furthermore, the separation packages being offered by the University have been less than the redundancy payments specified in the Agreement.
Higher education hit hard by MYEFO savings
n late October, Treasurer Wayne Swan released the 2012-13 Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), in which he announced a total of $16.4 billion new savings measures over the next four years to ensure the Government meets its commitment to bring the Budget back into surplus in the 2012-13 financial year. Half of the Commonwealth savings ($8.3b) will be achieved by requiring large companies to make Pay As You Go (PAYG) income tax instalments on a monthly basis. Universities, their staff and students have been asked to make a disproportionately large contribution to the Government’s savings targets – totalling more than $1billion over four years – and includes the abolition of the Facilitation grants associated with the implementation of Mission Based Compacts ($270m) and a slowdown of the phasing in of the Sustainable Research Excellence Funding ($500m). A Download a more detailed analysis at www.nteu.org.au/campaigns/policy
NTEU lodged a dispute which was heard in October before Commissioner Deegan in Tasmania. FWA upheld the Union’s dispute and called an immediate halt to the ‘expression of interest’ process. Ultimately a settlement was reached which provided that the University would include NTEU’s draft clause on how voluntary redundancies should be offered at the University either as an amendment to the current Agreement or as an inclusion in the next Agreement. The Branch views this decision as a significant win because it has proven to the University that the Union will fight breaches of the Agreement and stand up for members who are vulnerable to this kind of improper pressure. A Sarah Roberts, National Industrial Coordinator
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
NTEU stands against Queensland Govt cuts
n 12 September Queensland NTEU members rallied with over 15,000 unionists in Brisbane to stand in solidarity with public sector workers being sacked by the Newman Government. The rally heard from rank-and-file unionists about the attacks which were affecting ambulance officers, nurses and child safety workers amongst others. The rally was enthusiastic, with defiant speeches well-received by a buyoant crowd. While the full extent of the impact of the Queensland Government’s cuts on the higher education sector are not known, signs of pressure came earlier in the year when over 30 jobs were lost with the closure of the Queensland Trauma Registry (QTR) located at the Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine (CONROD) within the University of Queensland (UQ). It is anticipated that the cuts to research institutes such as the Institute for Molecular Biology located at UQ will also impact on employment at UQ and other universities. NTEU’s UQ Branch initiated motions of support for Queensland public and community sectors which were passed at the 2012 National Council, encouraging members to participate in campaigns to ‘defend the integrity of the public sector and the critical services it provides’ and campaigns ‘for the defence of the welfare sector.’ A Lachlan Hurse, UQ Branch Organiser
Future of the University
n Wednesday 24 October 2012, Ernst and Young released a report entitled University of the future: A thousand year old industry on the cusp of profound change. It concludes that: ‘The current Australian university model – a broad-based teaching and research institution, with a large base of assets and back office – will prove unviable in all but a few cases.’ The report identifies the main drivers of change which will inevitably bring about this transformation of the sector as: • The democratisation of knowledge as a consequence of massive expansion of on-line resources. • The contestability of markets and funding as a direct consequence of declining public investment and the adoption of
NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
NTEU Gender Equity Audit
TEU’s internal Gender Equity Audit is underway, with the first stage in our Branches and Divisions recently completed. Analysis of this information is now in progress, with the second stage (an audit at National level) to commence before the end of 2012. A third audit of the NTEU staffing profile will commence in early 2013. Initial results have highlighted two areas where NTEU is doing well (our bargaining teams and activist networks) but also areas where we need to focus on improving equity (the Branch executive positions and Council delegates). As the NTEU Gender Equity Audit was an initiative of the NTEU Women’s Action Committee (WAC) the results will be presented for endorsement at the 2013 NTEU Women’s Conference. However, gender equity is a concern for the whole of the Union and thus the full report will be presented to the 2013 National Council meeting. A Terri MacDonald, Policy & Research Officer
market design policies to fund and regulate higher education. • Digital technologies changing the way courses are delivered. • Global mobility of students and staff. • Integration with industry to differentiate programs (through work integrated learning) and to support and fund applied research. NTEU believes that increased public investment in our universities together with a strong regulation of providers is necessary if we are to avoid the Back to the Future scenario as predicted in the report. A Paul Kniest, Policy & Research Coordinator Download the report from www.ey.com, and see NTEU response in Campus Review (30 Oct 2012, p.13)
NTEU LGBTI group re-forms
ueer Unionists in Tertiary Education (QUTE) has been re-formed in Victoria. Its aim is to continue to fight for the rights of people of diverse sexuality and gender and to campaign and lobby government on wider social issues such as marriage equality and human rights. Despite the progress in the past decade in LGBTI rights, many still suffer discrimination, harassment, bullying and equality issues in the workplace. Many NTEU members in universities are still unable, or find it challenging, to access benefits or exercise their rights under Agreements due to the lack of understanding by management about sexuality and gender issues. Also, employees often find it difficult having to inform management about their sexuality or gender when attempting to access benefits or leave. As educators and those that work in educational institutions, we need to set an example to the young people we educate by demonstrating our commitment to social justice and human rights issues. QUTE moved a motion at the recent NTEU National Council to draw attention to the need for our Union to continue to have a strong focus on issues relating to the sexuality and gender diversity of members. QUTE further aims to ensure that we can build a safe network for communication for LGBTI NTEU members with monthly meeting hosted by different Branches throughout Victoria. On 27 November, QUTE will also be participating in the Marriage Equality Rally in Albury and we encourage all NTEU members and friends to join our contingent. QUTE will also be participating in next yearâ€™s Pride March. For further information about QUTE or any of its events or community participations, contact David Willis, email@example.com. A Ryan Hsu, Victorian Division Assistant Secretary At the Melbourne Marriage Equality Rally on 11 August 2012: Top: Ryan Hsu (centre); Centre: A view of the rally; Bottom: David Willis and Leanne Foote carrying the QUTE banner.
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
General Staff donate $200 million to employers
n late 2011, the National Tertiary Education Union conducted one of the biggest ever surveys of general and professional staff in the higher education sector. The survey found most had experienced increased workloads in the last five years, and were suffering extreme work stress. 8119 university staff responded to the invitation to participate with respondents coming from all Australian universities. The survey demographics were consistent with the published data on general staff by classification,
gender, and age indicating that it is a good representative sample. During the past year the NTEU has been analysing the results of the survey and has identified the following key findings on the issues of workload: • 75.3% report medium to extreme work related stress. • 63.1% report that work related stress has caused illness and 40.9% said that it has caused relationship deterioration. • 73.5% have experienced increases in work volume in the past five years. • 78.8% have experienced increases in work complexity in the past five years. • 32% receive no compensation for additional hours worked. • Of those who work additional hours, the average number of additional hours worked each week is 8. Applying a conservative estimate of average salary and multiplying by the ordinary hourly rate, this means that university general and professional staff are working about
$200 million in unpaid overtime, contrary to the terms of their Enterprise Bargaining Agreements. Over 2000 staff also took the opportunity to make written comments about the issues in the survey. Some typical comments are: ‘I am fixed term staff and am too scared to ask for a reduction in my work for fear of not having my contract extended’ ‘There is a culture of expectation that we work long hours’ ‘There’s no money for overtime and no money to pay for extra staff’ ‘If I don’t work a 12 hour day students suffer’ NTEU is calling on all members to donate just one day of that volunteer work to their families, their friends, themselves, or a registered charity of their choice and to Go Home on Time on at least one day in the year, November 21. A Lynda Davies, NTEU Vice-President (General Staff)
Each year, Australians work more than 2 billion hours of unpaid overtime, the equivalent of $72 billion worth of foregone wages. Meanwhile, one in two of us don’t spend as much time with our family as we would like to because of work.
If you’re going to donate your time, donate it to your family, friends or community.
Go Home On Time Day Wednesday 21 November
www.nteu.org.au/gohomeontimeday NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
UPDATE WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Curtin bargaining concludes
embers at Curtin University in Perth have won an In-Principle Agreement to provide 17% wage increase over 4 years. The In-Principle Agreement, which has been endorsed by the National Executive and members, is the first to be negotiated in the current round. This will be the first time that academic and general staff at Curtin University will be covered by the same agreement – thanks to a vigorous on the ground campaign waged by the Curtin Branch under the banner of ‘Many voices, One Agreement’. Key improvements in the deal include: • 4% salary increases, payable in June 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016. • Firm workload caps for academic staff. • Equal treatment for general and academic staff in serious misconduct and unsatisfactory work performance issues. • The creation of more secure work for casual staff with the introduction of Scholarly Teaching Fellows, to be created from previously casualised work. • Improved career development options for general staff While there are many differences in the work performed and expectations about their roles, both academic and general staff are entitled to fair and reasonable treatment in dealing with serious misconduct, unsatisfactory work performance, managing change, security of employment and superannuation. This single Agreement delivers that for general staff. The Agreement will provide for firm caps on teaching loads for academic staff and more
secure classification rights and better career development prospects for general staff. Teaching and research academics will have hours of teaching contact capped at 260 (40% load), 340 hours (50% load) or 420 hours (60% load). In a significant change, the NTEU has agreed that new teaching focussed jobs can be created with a 75% teaching contact load, capped at 550 hours p.a Importantly, casual staff will get a better deal as part of the Union’s national campaign to create 2000 teaching- focussed positions, known as Scholarly Teaching Fellows, to perform 20% of the work currently undertaken by casual staff. Under the Curtin Agreement, 5% of the load carried by casuals will be converted to Scholarly Teaching Fellow positions over each year of the Agreement. These new positions will carry 75% teaching loads for between 24-36 weeks, with a cap of 550 contact hours annually. It’s a major advance for casuals who are largely excluded from access to full-time academic posts even though
they now account for 50% of undergraduate teaching in Australian universities. The NTEU will be directly represented on selection panels for these positions. This is the first Agreement in Western Australia where the NTEU has had exclusive coverage of the majority of general staff after the Community and Public Sector Union ceased to represent general staff in 2011. It is hoped that final negotiations will be concluded to allow Curtin staff to vote on a final Agreement in mid-to-late November, with final approval by Fair Work Australia expected before the end of the year. The Curtin Branch and Union staff at the Branch and WA Division should be congratulated for the great campaign they ran at Curtin which has delivered the first Agreement in the round. A Gabe Gooding, WA DIvision Secretary Top: Curtin Branch President Jan SInclair-Jones leads a members’ bargaining meeting, and (below left) explains the benefits of a single Agreement to members. Below Right: With members at a bargaining morning tea.
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
70 NTEU members recognised for teaching excellence
his year no less than 70 NTEU members are recognised in the prestigious Citation Awards recently announced by the Federal Government. The annual awards go to Australia’s most inspiring academic and professional staff and will presented at five ceremonies around the country over the coming months.
Associate Professor Eileen Willis from the Flinders University School of Medicine is one of the recipients. According to Willis (left), who was awarded $10,000, teaching the social sciences to undergraduate health professionals is always pedagogically challenging. ‘While the various professional accrediting bodies are clear about the value of a social model of health, undergraduate students are more sceptical. This scepticism makes for hard thinking about one’s pedagogy,’ she said. ‘Writing the citation was a useful exercise for bringing together a number of my ideas developed over the past 20 years on the way sociology of health and illness shapes the
therapeutic imagination of caring health professionals.’ Willis paid tribute to the support team at Flinders University from the Centre for University Teaching for providing excellent direction and guidance in the exercise. ‘They are outstanding adult educators,’ she said. ‘The next step is how best to spend the money! I am inclined to think that the new directions in inter-professional education are a ripe field for a critical sociology of health and illness.’ Jan Sinclair-Jones, President of the Curtin University Branch, recalls meeting Eileen at a NTEU Women’s Action Committee meeting in the late 90s. ‘She is a great role model for a union sociologist,’ she said. A Carmel Shute, Media Officer www.olt.gov.au
Dark matter: Kenneth Freeman awarded 2012 PM’s Science Prize
ustralian National University Mt Stromlo Observatory astronomer (and long-time NTEU member) Professor Ken Freeman has won the $300,000 2012 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for his pioneering work on dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up the bulk of the universe. Professor Freeman’s work on galactic archaeology – which looks at how galaxies are constructed by analysing their chemical composition - was also recognised as part of the award. He and colleague Joss Bland-Hawthorn first published a paper on it in 2002, and are now recognised as co-founders of this relatively new field of astronomy. But while he is a world-renowned astronomer and a leading scientist in his field internationally, he is hardly a house-
NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
hold name like his much more famous namesake, Cathy Freeman, for example. Why is this? ‘The work I do is not easily recognisable,’ he said. ‘But it’s also part of a worldwide problem where science isn’t given the recognition of many other pursuits and activities.’ Professor Freeman agreed that a big part of the problem is the lack of a strong focus on science at all levels of education. ‘We need to find ways to break the barriers that prevent kids from getting into the hard sciences.’ ‘One key to the solution is finding and training the right people to be science teachers in schools and universities. Good
teachers will attract students to their classes.’ He welcomed the move in some areas to more practical-based teaching of science, where ‘learning by doing’ is a more creative and interesting way to engage students around complex scientific issues. But for now, Professor Freeman is enjoying being in high demand by both the scientific and general media, with numerous interviews and articles since he received the award. Not to mention the added (if perhaps only temporary) exposure for science. ‘It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, actually.’ A Michael Evans, National Organiser Above: Ken Freeman. (Photo: ABC).
New IPC takes office T
he new membership of the Indigenous Policy Committee (IPC) met on 2 October to elect a new Chair and Deputy Chair for the coming term of office. NTEU is pleased to announce the new Chair and Deputy Chair of the IPC are Terry Mason from the University of Western Sydney and Catherine Taylor from the Australian National University, respectively. NTEU and the National Indigenous Unit sincerely thank the outgoing Chair of the IPC, Jillian Miller, for her advocacy and work during her term as Chair. Jillian’s leadership and stewardship has set a clear direction for the work of the new IPC.
IPC Chair – Terry Mason Terry Mason was born at Kahibah, land of the Awabakal language people and was previously Deputy Chair of the IPC. Terry currently works as a Senior Lecturer in the Badanami Centre for Indigenous Education at the University of Western Sydney and was previously
the Academic Coordinator of the Bachelor of Education Degree delivered through the Aboriginal Rural Education Program. As well as being a member of the Board of the Welfare Rights Centre in NSW, Terry has extensive experience on the issues of Indigenous employment and work, including substantial input into the current employment strategies and clauses in industrial agreements. Terry is also active in the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and was the primary Indigenous reader of written submissions to the ‘2004 NSW Review of Aboriginal Education’. Terry was also a
New IPC Membership The IPC is comprised of 8 Indigenous Division Councillors and 3 Indigenous National Councillors. The current membership includes the following elected representatives:
Chair & National Indigenous Councillor
key researcher in the ‘Successful transition programs from prior-to-school to school for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’ project. Terry was also directly involved in the One Laptop per Child program, providing advice on cultural and program implementation issues. While maintaining a close relationship with the Koori community in NSW, Terry is also directly involved in social and work issues through active involvement with Community Groups, welfare organisations, Commonwealth and State Public Service entities and Union representation at Branch, Division, National and Executive level.
Deputy Chair – Catherine Taylor Catherine Taylor is a Pinterrairer woman from Tasmania and is the Academic and Student Support Coordinator at the Tjabal Centre within the Australian National University. Catherine has worked in the higher education sector as an Academic (and more recently as a professional staff member) since 2002. Catherine has a Master of Science in Medicine (Pain Management); a Graduate Diploma in Counselling and a Bachelor in Applied Science in Health Education. Catherine is a strong advocate for ensuring that our mob have a voice and that our voice is heard at all levels within universities but particularly on a national level and to a wide ranging audience. Bullying across the sector is something that Catherine is very passionate about stamping out.
Deputy Chair & Nat’l Indigenous Councillor Catherine Taylor
National Indigenous Councillor
Division Indigenous Representative (TAS)
Indigenous Division Representative (SA)
Indigenous Division Representative (NT)
Indigenous Division Representative (VIC)
Indigenous Division Representative (ACT)
Currently there are two vacancies on the IPC for New South Wales and Queensland Indigenous Division representatives. To ensure full membership and representation, it is expected that these positions will be filled in the coming months. NTEU congratulates all newly elected members of the IPC and looks forward to working with the elected committee members during their terms of office and into the future. A
Indigenous Division Representative (WA)
Indigenous Division Representative (NSW)
Indigenous Division Representative (QLD)
Further information, including photos and biographies for the newly elected IPC, can be obtained from the NTEU Indigenous website: www.nteu.org.au/indigenous/ipc
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
Review of Higher Education Access & Outcomes for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People T
he long-awaited final report and recommendations from the Review of Indigenous Higher Education Access and Outcomes was officially released by Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research in Melbourne on 14 September. The Review makes a total of 35 Recommendations, that include setting targets for increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment in the sector, with a particular focus on increasing Indigenous academic appointments and professional pathways; to implementing a ‘whole of university approach’ to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, institutional culture and governance, Indigenous knowledge, research and pathways to higher education. NTEU is particularly pleased with recommendations one through to three, calling for each university to set population parity targets for increasing employment, initially set at 2.2% and based on the proportion of the total Indigenous population aged between 15 and 64 (revised in line with new population data following each national census). These recommendations align directly with the NTEU National Indigenous Employment claim and Mandatory Settlement Point that calls for numeric employment targets to be set through Collective Agreements. It is expected that when implemented, these Recommendations will build upon the work the Union has undertaken to increase Indigenous employment in the sector over the last fifteen years. While the majority of Recommendations have received in-principle support from NTEU, there are also areas of concern. Our concerns extend to a potential mainstreaming of support programmes under the touted ‘whole of university approach’ to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student support, retention and success in the higher education sector.
Recently, NTEU has seen moves toward a mainstreaming agenda, particularly affecting a range of academic and pastoral support programmes that currently assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. NTEU is concerned that if this Recommendation is not implemented appropriately, a ‘whole of university approach’ to Indigenous education may result in an overall reduction of Indigenous students participating in the higher education sector, with potential flow on effects likely to significantly impact upon Indigenous community, members and staff. At the 2012 NTEU National Council, the Indigenous Policy Committee (IPC) tabled a motion on mainstreaming that directs the Union to undertake a research project to ascertain the level at which individual universities are seeking to relocate and reposition current Indigenous student support programmes (e.g. Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme – Tertiary Tuition) that have traditionally been delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Support Units and Centres. NTEU will continue to work with the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council (IHEAC) and Federal Government to ensure the implementation of the Review Recommendations is undertaken in a manner that will not disadvantage students or diminish the excellent work undertaken by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Support Centres and Units. A A copy of the Review is available from the Department of Innovation website: www.innovation.gov.au/HigherEducation/IndigenousHigherEducation/ ReviewOfIndigenousHigherEducation/Pages/default.aspx
Left: New IPC Chair, Terry Mason at National Council. Right: Celeste Liddle, National Indigenous Organiser, with out going IPC Chair, Jillian Miller. Photos by Paul Clifton NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
TAFE â€“ market rules
ublic Technical and Further Education (TAFE) is under attack by conservative governments up and down the east coast. In New South Wales, $80 million and 800 jobs are being cut, with fees to rise by around 9.5%. In Queensland, the number of TAFE colleges is set to halve, from 82 to 44 with details to be announced later this month. In Victoria, where the NTEU covers general staff in TAFE, the Baillieu Government has slashed $290 million from the sector, with around the same amount to be cut in both 2013 and 2014. Over 5000 staff look likely to lose their jobs and up to 35 campuses are under threat of closure. Fees are skyrocketing by more than 120%. However, whilst these latest attacks are coming from Liberal and Coalition State Governments, the rot set in back in 2008 when the Brumby Labor Government in Victoria introduced the policy of contestability of funding, whereby private companies were allowed to compete with public TAFE institutes for Government funding in a system with no caps on student enrolments. This led to enrolments in private training colleges in Victoria soaring by over 300%, with public TAFE now responsible for less than half the students in the sector. The boom in student numbers blew the TAFE budget for 2011-12 by $500 million. The inevitable and predictable result of the market-based system is decline in the quality of provision and the trashing of the reputation of Victorian TAFE. Contestability means competition on the basis of price of delivery. TAFE institutes, with their expensive facilities and infrastructure developed with public funding over decades, their public responsibilities and decent working conditions, have been at a disadvantage compared to fly-by-night private providers. As predicted, private providers have cherry picked the most profitable courses and enrolled large numbers of students. Some of these disreputable outfits are now being publically exposed. The Ballieu Governmentâ€™s answer to the budget blowout and rorts is to punish the public TAFE sector. 16
It is becoming clear that the real agenda is the privatisation of TAFE. And unfortunately, despite a massive campaign involving unions, local government, community organisations and the public, the dismantling of public TAFE is well underway. Courses have already closed, jobs lost and campuses are scheduled for closure. The TAFE cuts disproportionally impact upon young people, recent migrants, Indigenous communities, women, workers needing retraining and those in outer suburban and regional areas. Even business and industry groups are stunned by the severity of the cuts and the impact on the expansion of a skilled workforce in Victoria where massive levels of industry restructuring are underway. However, the Ballieu Government can apparently find $500 million to build a new prison. The Ballieu Government has a one seat majority and the campaign against the TAFE cuts is reportedly one of reasons why Labor is now 10 points ahead in the polls. But Victorian Labor has not yet made commitments to fix the damage. A www.nteu.org.au/tafe www.tafe4all.org.au Above: Save Our Swinburne Uni/TAFE rally at Swinburne Lilydale, 8 August 2012. Photo Justin Westgate.
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
Are our uni’s getting bang for their marketing bucks? T
he recent release of the 2011 Australian university financial data shows that Australia’s universities spent more than $216m on advertising, marketing and promotion. This not a trivial amount of money and represents about one third of the amount universities spent on repair and maintenance. Given ever increasing staff workloads Percentage Change 2006 - 2011 Advertising Ranked by 2011 and crumbling university infrastructure, and Marketing Advert & ConsultMarketing Expenses the NTEU believes it is important to ask Fees & Total Employee % Total Costs Marketing ancy Total Costs as % of Total Costs whether this a good use of scarce uniCharges Income Costs (2011) Costs Contracts versity resources and whether they are Average Top 10 2.1% 140.2% 36.8% 32.0% 42.3% 41.1% 44.1% getting good value – or bang for – their marketing bucks. Average Middle 18 1.1% 94.2% 60.8% 38.6% 64.3% 58.3% 57.6% An analysis of university financial data Average Bottom 18 0.5% 41.7% 54.0% 35.3% 47.0% 49.8% 46.3% shows that between 2006 and 2011 All Institutions 1.0% 79.7% 54.1% 35.8% 48.7% 48.4% 47.1% advertising, marketing and promotional expenditure for all Australian universities increased from $120m to $216m, or 80%. This varied significantly; versity not the man), ‘bring knowledge to life’ (Western Sydney) and Swinburne University led the pack with an increase in expenditure ‘Worldy’ (Deakin). of 374% over the period, putting it at No.1 on the NTEU’s Marketing In a more pragmatic business sense you would anticipate that League Table. In 2011, advertising and marketing expenditure repreincreased spending on marketing would deliver increased enrolments sented 3.1% of all Swinburne’s costs, three times the sector average. in Commonwealth funded places from 2012 with the uncapping of This means that while the marketing people at the University of Melfunded enrolments. Up to 2011, the marketing objective would also bourne may only have been willing to ‘dream large’, their colleagues be substantially focused upon increasing revenue through fee paying at Swinburne were able to convince senior management that when it students, and/or consultancies and/or contract research. comes to marketing there are ‘no limits’ However, as the Summary League Table (above) shows this is not Other universities to feature high on the NTEU Marketing League apparent from the data. The Table divides universities into the Top 10, Table as measured by the proportion of total costs dedicated to adverMiddle 18 and Bottom 10 by marketing costs as a share of total costs in tising and marketing include ECU (2.5%), Deakin (2.4%), USQ (2.3%) 2011. It also shows the average percentage change in a number of variand UNE (2%). At the other end of the Marketing League Table are ables for each of these groups. The most notable aspect of the Table is Wollongong (0.2%), Sydney and ANU (0.3%), Monash and Melbourne that on average the group of universities that spent most on marketing (0.4%). Ballarat and Monash are also worthy of mention because they (and on average had the biggest increases in marketing expenditure) were the only two universities to decrease marketing expenditure also had the lowest average increase in income, including fees and between 2006 and 2011. So when Monash came up with slogan ‘go charges, and consultancy and contracts. It is also worth noting that boldly’ this was clearly a reference to intergalactic travel and not into they also had the lowest increase in costs including employee costs. the murky world of marketing. It also appears that Ballarat believes it We are not suggesting that this provides proof that increased can ‘learn to succeed’ by spending less on advertising. spending on marketing actually diminishes an institutions growth. So what do you get for your marketing dollar? In many cases It may well be that the slow rates of growth in fee and consultancy more has resulted in less. Thankfully, increased spending has seen income are the impetus for increased expenditure on advertising and the demise of inane throwaway slogans such as ‘infinite possibilities’ promotion. At this stage at least there is little evidence to suggest (La Trobe), ‘a new school of thought’ (Victoria University) or ‘if you’re a that it has been successful. Indeed, when it comes to marketing of star, here’s where to shine’ (UniSA). Some universities, however, feel a universities, the old adage that less is more may have more than a need to persist with such incomprehensible slogans, including ‘best glimmer of truth about it. A of both worlds’ (USC), ‘what’s your next life’ (Charles Darwin, the UniPaul Kniest, Policy and Research Coordinator Source: www.innovation.gov.au NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
Above left: Robyn Williams delivering the lecture. Above right: Panel Q&A session.
Armidale forum puts spotlight on universities & communities O
ver one hundred people at an NTEU public forum in Armidale in August heard ABC Radio National Science Show presenter Robyn Williams cut through the hype and spin about universities and focus on the real issues that we are all grappling with – universities’ identities, the role they play in their communities and how they are perceived, and how to adequately fund the work they do. The forum was the first in a series of public events that NTEU hopes to organise in regional communities, designed to highlight the significant role universities play and to enable a dialogue with local community leaders on the key issues of funding and engagement. Williams painted a bleak picture of how universities and academia are viewed by politicians and the broader society, focussing particularly on the attitudes to science and science education, but also on some of the wider implications of inadequate education funding. ‘We have immense problems in Australia,’ he said. ‘Not the problems that cabbies talk to you about, I mean the stuff that people don’t notice… like the fact that four million of Australia’s working population are functionally illiterate… an appalling number.’ Specifically on the issue of public funding, he said ‘We are wasting wealth creation because we are wasting the potential of universities.’ Williams used several examples to illustrate the potential contribution to Australia’s economy of stronger investment in our 18
‘We are wasting wealth creation because we are wasting the potential of universities.’
scientific capacity, including the significant breakthroughs around the use of polymers and the development of wi-fi that the last two winners of the Prime Minister’s Science Prize had achieved. Referring to Mark Henderson’s book The Geek Manifesto, Williams highlighted Henderson’s checklist for a better approach in the future, including the need to create an environment where science can thrive to create life enhancing technologies and drive future economic growth. Richard Hil, academic and author of Wackademia: An insider’s account of the troubled university, spoke after Williams and detailed some of his experiences and observations during his career. The guest speakers were followed by a Q&A style panel hosted by Kelly Fuller, the local ABC Radio Morning Show presenter. The panel included Professor Jim Barber, Vice-Chancellor of the University of New England (UNE), Jeannie Rea, NTEU National President, Dr Brian Denman, Senior Lecturer in Education Policy at UNE, Anna-Maria Arabia, CEO of Science and Technology Aus-
tralia, Hugh Piper from the Armidale Business Chamber, and Sarah Thompson of the NSW Farmers Association. Hugh Piper commented after the panel that ‘it was interesting to see how urgent the need is to deal with these funding issues and shore up university funding so that there is more certainty in that area, given that education is ultimately the most important aspect of our society.’ The NTEU UNE Branch hosted the event, and Branch President Tim Battin reported the Branch had received very positive feedback from members and the UNE community. ‘The event has raised the profile of the Union and provided an opportunity to display another side – the ‘big picture’ aspects – of the Union’s interests.’ A Michael Evans, National Organiser See the Armidale event video at www.investinuniversities.org.au/events NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
A spring harvest of research? S
pring has sprung, and bargaining is here. While the core issues are academic workloads, casualisation of academic teaching, classification and recognition of work value for professional staff, Indigenous employment and the salary quantum, a further issue deserves some attention, that of academic (or intellectual) freedom. In the last bargaining round, the NTEU sought to capture academic freedom in Agreements to combat potential reductions in institutional autonomy through the push for corporate-style governance arrangements. Also, following a long campaign by the NTEU, the Government legislated that publically-funded universities were to uphold freedom of intellectual inquiry for staff and students. At the conclusion of Round 5 Bargaining, most Branches had negotiated a clause establishing the principles of academic freedom, guaranteeing that staff (and students) could express opinions about the operation of their institution, as well as the ability for academic staff to research and teach on topics of their choosing. Now academics are facing new challenges to academic freedom, as universities are assessing the research abilities of their academic staff with a metaphorical ‘threshing machine’ which can sort the wheat from the chaff. The root cause of this predilection is the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) process, which in 2010 established league tables according to field of research codes, and encouraged institutions to question the worth of their research staff, both on collective and individual bases. The impetus for such changes will ramp up when the ERA 2012 process is completed, and the results circulated next year. The ERA is not solely to blame – these actions are also driven by the systematic underfunding of the sector by the decision-makers in Canberra. In the current environment, it is not surprising that VCs and their economic advisers are focussing on the financial viability of each ‘field’ of researchers in their institutions. While the aim of improving the research output of a faculty, a school, a group or an individual seems like a good idea, a more detailed analysis suggests that the process may actually be working against the grain. First, the threshing process will discriminate against academic staff who, for whatever reason, have not been afforded enough actual time to nurture their research activities. High teaching loads (particularly if improperly represented in workload allocation models) and/or increased administration duties have strangled the ability of staff to pursue research. The growth of on-line / flexible delivery also has removed the fences around student-staff interaction, making it harder still to quarantine research time. Second, the fate of an academic staff member once they have been through the threshing process may appear to be a gentle choice between continuing to be active in research and concentrating on teaching (or even pursuing ‘other opportunities’ outside the terNOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
tiary sector). For an academic choosing to concentrate on teaching, whether the choice is genuinely free or with an element of coercion, the future is likely to deliver a severe escalation of teaching hours, particularly in those disciplines with lower allocations of total funding per student, in order to provide cost recovery for the salary. Many universities are heading along this path, and many others are waiting to see how other fields respond to these attempts to grow research. Who will be the losers? Clearly, staff who lose their jobs will feel completely undervalued. Staff piled higher and higher with teaching will feel the same, although they will still be on the payroll. Conversely, are the successful researchers the winners? If they survive their institutional threshing in subsequent spring seasons, they will feel better off than their colleagues who are consigned to a frenzy of teaching (not to mention those who have left the sector). But the successful researchers can be losers, too. The threshing process will afford institutions the ability to control research. Think ERA groupings with scores of 4 or 5. Think being encouraged to publish in the better journals, for even though the ERA journal rankings have been officially abandoned, the die has been cast. The outcome is a clear and present threat for academic freedom of enquiry, which will allow managements to winnow out research in particular areas, whether driven by the notion of prestige, or simply because it is convenient to close down certain lines of enquiry. In short, we are shifting away from the traditional, organic way of nurturing research in all fields, and heading instead for a brave new mechanised world of research. As the seasons come and go, we will no doubt yearn more and more keenly for the good old days. As much as possible, we must resist pressures which can constrain our ability to conduct research freely. A Kelvin Michael, NTEU Vice-President (Academic) 19
John Lamp School of Information Systems Deakin University
This article on the question of research output assessment comes from a talk I was asked to give to early career researchers – a cohort I have no problem identifying with, as I am one, despite my age. I also find that having spent the majority of my working life outside academia gives me a much less conditioned response to phrases such as ‘journal impact factor!’
he first thing to know about the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) Initiative is that it won’t be here for long … well, not long in terms of the average academic working life. Most career academics can expect to get a PhD in their twenties and most likely work into their sixties, a career of about 40 years. By comparison, most governments these days are lucky to last out their full four year term, and government policy often changes within those terms. Why predicate a 40 year career on something which does not even show up as a speed bump on that road? In just one decade we’ve had the following: • Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) – A1, E1 etc and no form of ranking. • Research Quality Framework (RQF) – Citation measures as determined by Thomson Reuters’ Journal Impact Factor (JIF), never implemented. • ERA 2010 – Used rankings developed locally. • ERA 2012 – Didn’t use rankings at all. • ERA 2014 – Who knows? NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
RESEARCH If that’s not enough, have a look at some of the schemes. Probably the most commonly known scheme for comparing the ‘worth’ of journals is the Thompson Reuters JIF. This was invented by Eugene Garfield as part of the work of his Institute for Scientific Information. It’s interesting to look at the origin of the JIF measure. It’s based on work by Samuel Bradford, but he was trying to determine the coverage of journals in his library, not excellence of the journals it contained. He divided up journals based on the number of references per year to their articles, and found a distribution of the form 1:n:n2 – recognised by Burrell (1992) as yet another Gini index, loved by economists. Eugene Garfield has also expressed concerns with the application of the very measurements he worked on. In particular he draws a distinction between the validity of journal impact factors and attempts to create individual author impact factors (Garfield, 2000). ‘It is one thing to use impact factors to compare journals and quite another to use them to compare individual authors. Journal impact factors generally involve relatively large populations of articles and citations. Individual authors, on average, produce much smaller numbers of articles.’ But even if we ignore all these caveats and misgivings, you have to come back to the basis of all this and that is that the number of times a paper is referenced determines the JIF of the journal in which it is published. Now, we have a couple of giant leaps! Firstly, that referencing is a measure of quality. I could say ‘cold fusion’ and move on, but really there are lots of reasons a paper gets cited – an early publication, a review article, as well as a good article. Secondly, that while there’s no doubt that the papers determine the JIF, where does it say that getting in to a journal with a high JIF means that your paper is high quality? Well, how about the ERA 2010 Rankings? These were put together discipline by discipline, as determined by the discipline. Use of these in ERA was stopped on order of the Minister in May 2011. They have not maintained since 2009, are woefully out of date, and should not have been used at all. Then there are all the other measures… (Harzing 2010) • Total number of papers • Total number of citations • Average number of citations per paper • Average number of citations per author • Average number of papers per author • Hirsch’s h-index and related parameters • Zhang’s e-index • Egghe’s g-index • The contemporary h-index • Three variations of the individual h-index, hI-index, hI-norm, and hm-index • The age-weighted citation rate • An analysis of the number of authors per paper. Pick the one that makes you look good – that’s just as defensible as imagining that one measure works for everything. But so far everything is about journals … journals (and the format of the academic paper) are the product of a precise combination of non-digital technologies and communication limitations, which have suffered a disruptive innovation at the hands of digital technologies and are about to assume the same communications significance in day to day academic life as illuminated manuscripts are at present. The so called ‘Gutenberg revolution’ took 200 years … publishing NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
changes in next 30 years will make Gutenberg look like a ripple on a pond. Already there’s more to research than journal papers, and more impact than citations. As an example, my father did an analysis of plant nutrition aspects of crop growing in the Negev and their Government sent the results and recommendations to all farmers, changing their approach to agriculture, but it wasn’t peer reviewed, so it didn’t count as research in the stats here. Journal papers are notably lacking in providing a way of communicating research once you start looking at areas such as arts and the humanities, where a performance, composition, or art work becomes a defining product of scholarly work. Anyone want to suggest an impact factor for Fergus Hume’s Mystery of a Hansom Cab’? The concept becomes ludicrous. There is an approach which tries to look at all of these differing aspects – altmetrics (altmetrics.org/manifesto/). This is a movement to examine all the aspects of an academic life which might be used to determine the impact of a researcher. It’s not perfect, it may not be the ultimate answer, but it’s a signpost of what is to come. The other aspect is the move for open access – not just to publications, but to all the inputs to research as well – datasets, code, experimental designs and more. Sound outrageous? It’s already beginning - see www.plosbiology.org/static/policies.action. Just as I am finishing this article, the incoming head of the ARC, Aidan Byrne, is flagging a new approach to measuring excellence, that will involve ‘… the different measures of activity in published work … how work is disseminated and taken up in the new media … how academics make an impact in society through social media or other technological instruments.’ http://chronicle.com/blogs/ wiredcampus/the-australian-research-councils-new-leader-opensup/40276 So don’t put all your eggs in one basket, forget ‘Publish or perish,’ it’s ‘Get Visible or Vanish!’ A Bradford S C. 1934. ‘Sources of information on specific subjects’ Engineering: An Illustrated Weekly Journal Arthur Ernest Maw, London 137(3550) [Reprinted (1985) J Information Science 10,176-180]. Garfield, E. (2000) ‘Use of Journal Citation Reports and Journal Performance Indicators in Measuring Short and Long Term Journal Impact’ Croatian Medical Journal 41(4):368-374. Burrell, Q.L. 1992. ‘The Gini Index and the Leimkuhler Curve for Bibliometric Processes,’ Information Processing & Management (28:1), pp 19-33. Lamp J.W. (2009) ‘Journal ranking and the dreams of academics’ Online Information Review, 33(4), pp827-830. Lamp, J. W., S. K. Milton, L. Dawson and J. Fisher. 2007. ‘RQF Publication Quality Measures: Methodological Issues’, Proceedings of the Eighteenth Australasian Conference on Information Systems, University of Southern Queensland, 478-486. Harzing, A.-W. 2010. The Publish or Perish Book. Melbourne: Tarma Software Research Pty Ltd. Seglen, P.O. 1997. ‘Why the Impact Factor of Journals Should Not Be Used for Evaluating Research,’ British Medical Journal (314:Feb 15), pp 498-502.
A successful revival! T
his August saw the revival of Bluestocking Week on Australian university campuses, organised by the NTEU with the National Union of Students (NUS).
Above: Jeannie Rea and Janet Sincock (CDU, NT WAC member) at the national Bluestocking Week launch in Melbourne. Photo Paul Clifton 22
When the first generations of women burst into universities from the late 19th century, they were dismissively called ‘bluestockings’. This was meant to be a slur on being scholarly, serious and curious women. Not surprisingly, university women adopted the bluestocking label with pride. And despite often virulent opposition from men, they were not deterred and a steady stream of women enrolled and graduated over the next century gradually conquering all disciplines. Today there are more women than men studying and working at Australian universities yet women remain concentrated in traditionally feminised disciplines and occupations. Women students still have to put up with casual and systematic sexism. NUS has been running a major campaign on safety for women on campuses. Young women know that their male peers are still likely to get higher salaries on graduation and the gap will widen over their working lives. Men will pay off their HECS debts earlier. Young feminists still see male experience and power at the centre of higher education teaching and research. They are acutely aware that women academics seem to be doing more of the teaching, many on casual conditions, while men dominate at the high end of research, and most of the administrative and service staff are women. Tellingly, while women are nearly half of academic staff, they are still only a quarter of the professoriate. However, the number of senior general staff women has doubled in the last 15 years. As well as the efforts of the women themselves, this can be attributed to the success of the union and women’s movement campaigning for paid parental leave, institutional gender equity programs and structural changes that work against systemic and cultural discrimination against women. Not surprisingly, women staff and students on Australian campuses enthusiastically embraced Bluestocking Week. In reviving Bluestocking Week, the NTEU Women’s Action Committee saw an opportunity to recognise the pioneering women that came before us; to celebrate NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
women’s scholarship and participation in higher education; and to continue campaigning around old and new issues. Meetings and seminars emphasised that it is not just about access and the numbers of women at universities, but about what is being taught and researched, and by whom. A telling statistic was that while we recognised Bella Guerin and Lydia Harris as the first women graduates in 1884, it was not until 1959 that the first Indigenous woman, Dr Margot Weir graduated with a Diploma from the University of Melbourne. There are now more Australian Indigenous women than men in higher education, but there is little to celebrate when nationally Indigenous people are 2.2% of the working age population, but only 1% of university staff and are only 1.4% of students. Bluestocking Week provided some space and time to reflect upon women’s achievements and to identify and talk about the ongoing issues and campaigns: • At Murdoch University, Kate Makowiecka organised a parade around campus with women carrying placards naming women who had influenced them. • Alison Bartlett gathered the generations together to debate ‘feminism ain’t what it used to be’ at the University of Western Australia. • At the University of Queensland, an outdoor forum finished with a band. • Charles Darwin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Sharon Bell urged caution in assuming the battles were won and argued for systemic organisational cultural change. • NTEU life member Jenny Strauss reflected upon her career at a Monash forum. Maria Palotta-Chiarolli and research students explored approaches to feminist research at Deakin. • The South Australian Division forum focussed on ‘Safe spaces: domestic abuse and the workplace.’ Branches have reported very positive feedback from members, and prospective members, on their Bluestocking activities. The opportunity to collaborate with students was also appreciated. Bluestocking Week had been organised by NUS in the 1990s, but like many student initiatives, had disappeared with the former Coalition Government’s anti-student organisation legislation (VSU). Branches and Divisions are already planning for next year. Go to www.nteu.org.au/bluestocking to see what we did in 2012 and get some ideas for 2013. Also see the NTEU’s annual women’s magazine, Agenda, distributed to all women members, and also available online at www.nteu.org.au/agenda. A Jeannie Rea, National President www.nteu.org.au/bluestockingweek NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
Top: Celebrating Bluestocking women at Curtin University. MIddle: Musical performance at UQ. Bottom: Members at Charles Darwin University celebrating Bluestocking Week. 23
Frances Separovic ‘Bluestocking’ sees red about the media treatment of women
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
f it hadn’t been for the Whitlam Government abolishing university fees, Frances Separovic would not be where she is today – Head of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne and the first woman to occupy the position. In August she wowed the audience at the Bluestocking Week event at the University of Melbourne with a witty and passionate account of her life. Carmel Shute reports. Professor Separovic has notched up a number of firsts in her career – in 1996 she became the first woman reader in her department; in 2005 its first female professor; and, this year, was the first woman chemist to be elected to the Academy of Science. Her achievements are all the more remarkable since she never studied chemistry at university and comes from a first generation migrant working-class family in Broken Hill. Frances migrated from Yugoslavia at the age of three and a half, a trip she still remembers. ‘Dad had a cousin in Broken Hill and we ended up there because he didn’t really know the difference between Australia and America,’ she says. Her father went into the mines and her mother circumvented Broken Hill’s ban on married women working by becoming a caretaker and cleaning houses at night. Frances excelled at school, loving maths ‘because there were more boys in the class’. Not knowing what to do at the end of high school, she took up a teaching fellowship to university but dropped out after three months as she didn’t find it stimulating. She managed to secure a job as a junior technician at CSIRO, a post which paid $25 a week. Out of her salary she paid $15 in rent and $1 in super. By the age of 20, she was a mother with a not very supportive partner and, soon after, found herself raising her son alone. ‘As I wasn’t earning enough, I decided I had to get educated. I went to Sydney TAFE and did a biology technicians’ certificate and then studied part-time for a Bachelor of Arts at Macquarie University, majoring in maths and physics. Thanks to the Whitlam Government, it was free. ‘If I’d had to have paid fees, I would never have done it. As it was, I felt so working class and was shocked that some of the middle class women I studied with at uni didn’t take it seriously. They would miss classes because of tennis or a concert!’ she said. NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
‘What gets me is the ways the media treats women. It represents us as airheads. Young women think this is the way to be – they don’t think that being smart is something of which to be proud.’
‘My parents had retired and moved to Sydney to help support me and my son but I had to pretend I was working at night, not studying. I got my PhD the year my son finished high school and my parents were disappointed to find I wasn’t able to practice medicine. The biggest thrill for them is that I now teach teachers. My dad’s also impressed by my salary!’ Frances spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institute of Health in Washington. ‘It was a wonderful experience and I became very restless at the CSIRO on my return. I saw a job as a senior lecturer/ reader in solid state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance at the University of Melbourne and applied, even though I didn’t know what a reader was. I managed to get the job without having ever studied chemistry at university level. It was a controversial decision and the head of department really had to stick his head out. Initially, there was some resentment from my colleagues but that’s all changed now.’ Despite a life working in a predominantly male field, Frances has experienced relatively little direct prejudice. ‘Once I asked a colleague for advice on a lab class proposal. He called a meeting and a group of men sat around a table criticising me for a spelling mistake, a mistake in refer-
encing and the length of the proposal. They made it clear that they didn’t accept me as an equal and were going to put me in my place. I went to my room and cried my heart out,’ she said. These days in her department there are slightly more women students than men enrolled in chemistry with women accounting for around 20% of the teaching and research staff. More female chemists are going into industry than academia, Frances has observed. The battle for equity is far from over, however. ‘What gets me is the ways the media treats women. It represents us as airheads. Young women think this is the way to be – they don’t think that being smart is something of which to be proud,’ Frances says. ‘Education gives you the potential to do a job you love doing. Generally it takes a young woman a long time to learn to value herself. To be paid to do something you love is wonderful. I feel so lucky.’ Frances has organised over 35 major scientific conferences and published 165 refereed papers in international journals. She was awarded the Robertson Medal by the Australian Society of Biophysics in 2009, the ANZMAG Medal in 2011 and elected Fellow of the Biophysical Society (USA) this year. A Carmel Shute, Media Officer
My University: neoliberalism and knowledge Raewyn Connell University of Sydney
he advent of the MyUniversity website has hardly raised a ripple; currently the site is little more than a summary of easily available information. But these are early days, and the MySchool website shows what is coming. Both display the market-centred, neoliberal policy logic that has been changing education – and every other field of Australian life – since the mid 1980s. Neoliberalism is best understood not as a single policy but as a meta-policy, that is a set of assumptions and practices that underpins policy in specific fields. Change on this scale is not easy to produce and the agenda is still continuing. Little of this has come from popular demand. Neoliberalism is mainly introduced top-down, and the usual consequence is increased social and economic inequalities, even where the growth strategy has worked. These processes produce social tensions, which have fed into the ‘water wars’ against privatisation, the ‘pink tide’ in South America, the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, and the local protest movements in China. These resistances have yet to produce a widely accepted alternative to the neoliberal agenda. Currently in Australia both the ALP and the Coalition offer neoliberal policy agendas, with lightly different flavouring.
Neoliberalism and higher education When neoliberal policies in Australia began to bite in the sphere of higher education, towards the end of the 1980s, a common reaction among university staff was astonishment and then dismay. To see staff of other universities as opponents rather than colleagues, or to prove the economic value of courses never designed to be sold, seemed bizarre if not mad requirements, and morally offensive too. Today we can see how the policies brought in by John Dawkins and his advisors, and deepened ever since, made sense in neoliberal terms. Universities were redefined as competitive firms, rather than branches of a shared higher education enterprise. Deliberative planning was quickly replaced by struggle for advantage, and a scramble for amalgamations produced our current odd collection of universities. Numbers in higher education were increased, without a major increase in central state funding, by commodifying access: fees 26
were re-introduced, and increased step by step. Federal government funding as a proportion of the higher education budget collapsed, from around 90% to under 50%. The national university system, in the 1970s remarkably uniform in quality and resources, became self-consciously unequal. The emergence of the ‘Group of Eight’ crystallised the new stratification, as positional advantage was leveraged. Higher education was increasingly seen by government as an export service industry in which Australia could find comparative advantage, the cultural equivalent of iron ore. High fees for overseas students monetised this idea, replacing an earlier regime where Australian universities offered modest development aid to the Asia and Pacific region for free. Deregulation is currently being debated again to include domestic students. At the same time, universities have been re-shaped on the model of corporations. Traditional hierarchy (remember the God-Professor?) had been partly broken down from the 1960s to the 1980s. Ironically this opened a space, in new conditions, for growth in managerial power, with vice-chancellors and deans increasingly understood as entrepreneurs, being paid like corporate managers, and - together with their officers – actually having more autonomy. The price is greater social distance, and often distrust, between university managers and academic staff. Corporate techniques of personnel management along fractal lines (performance management, auditing regimes) have been introduced. Older forms of collective deliberation, such as the departmental meeting, have declined, and no new ones are created; hence we see a Vice-Chancellor addressing his staff, on a grave issue, by sending them a video. NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
UNIVERSITY The nature of work in universities has been changing too. The impact of ICT, the changing character of libraries, and the return to mass teaching are familiar. Significant fractions of non-academic labour in universities are outsourced. Some support functions close to teaching staff are deleted from organisation charts (e.g. the departmental secretary), while new ones close to management are added (e.g. marketing). The expansion of student numbers has been handled with rising class sizes and a cheaper labour force. Though universities do not care to publicise the issue, it seems that about 50% of Australian undergraduate teaching is now done by casual labour (euphemised as ‘sessional’). Among permanent or tenure-track staff another stratification is emerging, between research-only, research-and-teaching, and teaching-only posts. Embedded here is a division between internationally-mobile and locally-confined careers, an important inequality in a globalising profession. Though it is difficult to be precise about such things, I believe there is a widespread sense among academic staff that the demands of the job have become more relentless, the benefits more uncertain, and the level of trust lower. Competitive markets require visible metrics of success and failure; this is tricky to do in education. Neoliberal policy-makers have solved their problem in the school sector by means of NAPLAN and MySchool – to the dismay of most educators, aware of the distorting effects of high-stakes competitive testing on the broader curriculum in schools. Powerful metrics are still lacking in the Australian university system, with opaque international league tables an unsatisfactory substitute. But Canberra has launched attempts, clumsy so far, at quality assurance and competitive assessment (witness ERA round I). We can be confident there will be fresh attempts to measure ‘performance’ by universities, and attach rewards and punishments to the measures.
Some implications for knowledge A first-order effect of the neoliberal turn is to instrumentalise research and teaching. Research that benefits a corporate or organisational interest, or fits a politician’s definition of national priorities, is encouraged: the ARC’s Linkage grants embody this. Australian businesses’ dismal interest in research has limited the effects locally, so far as research is concerned. But a strong effect is visible in teaching. Under market logic, degrees that seem to offer economic pay-offs to the student attract higher enrolments and become more important to universities; the distribution of full-fee-paying students across programmes provides one map of this effect. The difficulty that philosophy departments around Australia have in the new regime is worth pondering. Philosophy was central to the idea of a university, but no longer is; we don’t have to be nostalgic to think this a significant shift. To look more deeply, if anything has replaced philosophical reflection at the heart of university life, it is performativity (Lyotard 1984). Showing auditable output within the logic of the system and its measures becomes the requirement; no-one is simply trusted to be doing valuable work. We have proliferated within the university, sometimes with and sometimes without external pressure, many mechanisms of surveillance and reporting under the rubric of accountability. The most striking sign of performativity is the obsessive quantification of research output, both individual and institutional. We are seeing right now a startling proliferation of journals, peer-reviewed so NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
they meet the audit requirements, which exist essentially to lengthen CVs. A very large proportion of papers submitted to existing journals are unreflective repetitions of existing research designs. This is also true of a large proportion of PhD theses, under the pressure of funding-driven time limits and formulaic controls. For researchers to stop and think deeply about what they are doing, perhaps feeling their way towards a new paradigm, would be unwise: if you did that for two or three years you would become liable for the sack. In neoliberal theory, competition drives innovation; so market-savvy universities make large claims to be innovative. In fact, in all sectors of education, competition and auditing drives standardisation of curricula and pedagogy, a convergence on the market leader. I have been told by a publisher that writers of new textbooks are instructed to have 80% of their content in common with the market-leading book in their field, and looking at texts in my field, I believe it. Standardised curricula are needed with a large casualised workforce to make the job of teaching-on-the-run practicable. Our sessional teachers do not have time or support for serious curriculum innovation. When Canberra develops high-stakes tests of the ‘effectiveness’ of university teaching, as with NAPLAN, there will be irresistible pressure to teach-to-the-test. Australian universities are losing control of their curriculum and the logic of neoliberalism is that we will lose more.
And in conclusion... The purpose of this paper is to invite a discussion of issues that are fundamental to the future of the university. I don’t have an immediate solution to propose, except discussion itself. To invite this, of course, is to assume that there are alternatives worth talking about. Neoliberalism is the dominant policy logic in our world. But it is not the only possible logic, and there is more than one way to respond to the neoliberal pressures that exist. Neoliberal policymaking, once brutal, now prefers to govern indirectly, through regimes of incentives and disincentives. The rewards and costs are real, and reckoning with those regimes is inevitable. But in doing so we are not obliged to treat staff ruthlessly, we do not have to construct fantasies about ourselves, we need not defer to Harvard, and we need not pretend to be BHP. It seems to me that a viable alternative to MyUniversity will have to grow from an understanding of knowledge production and higher education as a distinctive form of work – in my discipline’s jargon, from the intellectual labour process itself. Modern intellectual labour involves complex forms of cooperation requiring trust and reciprocity; it involves both a critical and affirmative relationship with existing knowledge, so the process is cumulative and educative; and it is inherently unpredictable and open-ended, therefore in an important sense ungovernable. Shaping institutions to foster and support such labour (by students as well as staff ) is not easy, but it is a task worth our intelligence and commitment. It will require some nerve, it will have costs, and it will require confidence in ourselves as a university. A Professor Raewyn Connell is an internationally renowned sociologist, whose work has profoundly challenged and influenced theory and discourse on class, gender, power and globalisation. Her books include Ruling Class, Ruling Culture (1977), Gender and Power (1987), Masculinities (1995, 2005) and Confronting Equality (2011). This article is extracted from a longer paper written for the University of Sydney Academic Board. To see the full paper: www.raewynconnell.net 27
Student evaluations: Perceptions of learning NOT assessment of teaching quality S
tudent evaluations of teaching are a ubiquitous feature of tertiary education. They represent just one component of accountability in universities, and whilst they are widely used, they are also controversial. Concerns have been based on their reliability, validity and bias, with a body of research examining the factors that influence student responses (such as class size, expected grades, level of intellectual challenge of the course, lecturer dynamics). However, there is increasing concern over the manner in which these evaluations are used. The principal purpose for student evaluations should be the provision of constructive feedback to lecturers about student learning., In this sense, they provide a lecturer with the opportunity to reflect on teaching and learning, how this might vary from one cohort or class to the next according to a range of influencing factors, and how this may be addressed as an ongoing and evolving process. One of the problems with student evaluations is that the students themselves do not necessarily understand their purpose. They are an extra, seemingly bureaucratic, task to be completed at the end of a semester right in the midst of heavy assessment demands, with no chance of generating change that will influence the class that is being currently evaluated. Perhaps it should be no surprise that these evaluations typically generate a low response rate amongst students – a trend that is increasing with the change from paper to online evaluations. Set against this background is an emerging trend for these evaluations to be used as a measure of teaching quality rather than of student learning. At some universities the evaluations are even being used in assessing academics during their annual or biennial reviews within their statements of expectations. Of particular concern, there are increasing reports of academics being forced to justify the outcomes produced by quantitative student opinion data. For example, academics may find themselves having to explain where a numeric student opinion ‘score’ is deemed to be below an arbitrary threshold value, with courses even being threatened where this occurs more than once. This latter response reflects a disturbing lack of respect for the professional integrity and skills of teaching academics, and an intrusion by university executives into curriculum development. The use of student opinion survey outcomes in this way is a serious departure from the original intent of these surveys, which was to support professional development. This approach by university executives places sole responsibility for negative student feedback onto an individual academic. This suggests a lack of understanding of the 28
complexity of the teaching-learning dynamic and that these surveys capture student perceptions. Moreover, using such a simple metric as a proxy for determining teaching quality is fraught with pitfalls. For example, in one recent case, a class of over 40 students (where only 13 students responded) indicated that only 43% of respondents were highly satisfied with the course. To translate this statistically insignificant result into a measure of teaching quality at a whole-class level is extremely flawed and misleading. This is especially so, given that these are subjective data. The danger in creating an environment where student surveys are used to assess quality of teaching is to reduce the level of intellectual challenge in favour of ‘keeping students happy.’ The emerging trend to use student surveys as a measure of teaching quality needs to be flagged as an issue that warrants serious and immediate attention. A Sara Beavis, Australian National University
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
Miguel Beltrán speaks to unions in Britain
Above: Miguel Beltrán being deported from Mexico to Colombia under armed guard in 2011.
ritish higher education unionists gave a standing ovation to Dr Miguel Angel Beltrán, the Colombian academic freed last year after an international campaign by education trade unionists. Miguel was kidnapped by Colombian authorities whilst conducting postgraduate research in Mexico and was imprisoned in Colombia for more than two years for the nebulous crime of ‘rebellion’ and his academic research formed part of the prosecution’s evidence against him. Miguel was able to appear at this year’s British University and College Union (UCU) Congress, held in Manchester in June, because education trade unions around the world supported an international campaign to force the Colombian Government to confront international academic outrage and pressure and release him. For its part in the campaign, NTEU wrote to former President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe Velez, communicating the expressions of support from within the Union. Joining with Unions around the world, we called for Dr Beltrán’s release. Dr Beltrán spoke passionately about his experience and the need for change in Colombia. In his speech he identified that Colombia claims for itself a long democratic history, but Dr Beltrán argues ‘behind that fictitious democracy, is hidden a cruel reality: Colombia has one of the militaries that NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
receives the most funding from the United States in the world and has been responsible for the assassinations of thousands of citizens; the UN recognises close to 60,000 forced disappearances in the country; while the number of people forcibly displaced by paramilitary groups – in collaboration with the state – is over 5 million. Since the creation of the CUT trade union confederation in 1986, close to 3,000 trade unionists have been assassinated, and 60% of trade unionists killed in the world are Colombian. All this carried out as part of a strategy of state terror that criminalises any expression of political or social opposition and critical thought.’ ‘This leads me to insist in the necessity of uniting our efforts in search of a negotiated political solution to the social armed conflict. This is the desire of our people, who are tired of a war they have had to carry on their shoulders; the guerrillas have expressed in
their press releases that they want peace and have made gestures towards that sentiment. President Santos in his speeches has spoken repeatedly of peace, but his actions have gone in the opposite direction. Justice for Colombia, Colombians for Peace, the Patriotic March and other social and political organisations have held up the flag for a political solution to the conflict. I invite you to add your voices to their efforts,’ Dr Beltrán concluded. He called on the union movement abroad to support the ongoing mass movement in Colombia, which is gaining momentum throughout different parts of the country. The ‘Marcha Patriotica’ as it is known, is demanding an opening of democratic space for workers and an end to the corrupt rule of the nation’s oligarchy which has ruled Colombia for centuries. A Len Palmer, Charles Sturt University 29
California Dreaming Review of public funding of higher education I
t is true that higher education is now a global commodity, with countries such as Australia relying not only upon the export dollars bought in by the education market, but also benefiting from the long term effects that comes with investing in education. Higher education assists in the provision of skilled labour, boosts the returns on both public and private investment, and creates and supports innovation and quality research that has potential to improve our quality of life. It enhances a country’s international reputation, and there is strong evidence that a diverse and high quality education sector, that supports excellence in teaching and research, is the hallmark of economic and social success. As such, it is recognised in many countries that investing in education – and universities in particular – creates both public and personal returns, increasing the standard of living overall. However, these are uncertain times. Many countries and states – and in particular, those in the so called more developed economies – have been severely affected by the fallout from the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), resulting in the collapse of housing markets, a continued downturn in manufacturing and service industries, skyrocketing unemployment and, for many, deep economic recession. Localised issues – such as the changing political landscape and pressure for economic and industrial reforms – have also had an impact on public spending. Higher education, and in particular universities, have not been immune to these effects. Given the global nature of higher education, it is worth reviewing the status of universities in a number of countries around the world. In a series of reviews, NTEU will examine the issues around higher education, public funding and ongoing commentary, in several developed and developing economies. The first of these international reviews is on the State of California, the most populous state in America. Higher education has been a public funding priority since the 1960s.
California’s education boom and bust California has been considered a leader in education. In the 1960s the State developed its Master Plan for Higher Education, largely to meet the swelling demand from the baby-boomer generation. The plan defined specific roles for the State’s three higher-education systems — the University of California (UC), California State University (CSU) and the community colleges — and ensured a spot at a university for all students who qualified. The system that resulted from the plan, supported by decades of significant public investment in higher education, resulted in the state of California growing to become the world’s eighth largest economy and home to Silicon Valley and a large share of the biotech industry. 30
However, the ongoing budget crisis in California and the flow on from the GFC, crash in the housing market and deep American recession has seen unemployment grow from 5% to 12%. The rise in unemployment has impacted most upon young adults, where the numbers of employed college age adults fell from 65% to 51% between 2007 and 2011. The decreased employment rate was split evenly among those unable to find a job and those who gave up looking for one.
Impact of cuts to higher education Faced with the economic downturn, California has reduced its support for public higher education, with a total of nearly $3 billion of funding cuts to public community colleges and universities since 2007-2008. In 2011, funding for CSU was reduced to $2.14 billion from almost $3 billion in 2007-08, and the UC funding saw similar reductions, with a reduction to $2.37 billion (2011) from $3.3 billion (2007-2008). As a result, California’s public universities and colleges now have half as much state money to spend per student as they did in 1990 in real dollars, resulting in a reduction in both enrolments (by approximately 30,00 state wide) and course offerings. However, while the number of places on offer have decreased, the economic downturn has seen an increase in the numbers of applications to universities and colleges, with many high school leavers who would otherwise been fully employed deciding to instead apply for a college or university education. The increase is also due to applications from those who have found themselves unemployed, as they seek to either retrain or upgrade their skills and qualifications. The impact of the cutbacks are being seen already. In addition to staffing redundancies and reduced student places on offer, there has also been a reduction in maintenance budgets and non-academic services, such as student counselling. NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
INTERNATIONAL Not surprisingly, the decrease in public spending has seen a rise in the level of dependence on undergraduate tuition income. Competition for places in courses is being further pressured by the fact that, under the Master Plan for Higher Education, Californian residents paid lower fees as the plan was to attract and keep local students. However, the reverse is now in effect, with preference now being given to applications from out-of-state students as they pay higher tuition fees. As a result of the change in funding policy, California State’s undergraduate tuition has more than doubled. UC has also substantially increased its tuition fee income, as a result of a 60% reduction in public spending on student education from 20 years ago: $25,000
Student Fees UC General Funds
State General Funds
Source: UC Budget Charts 2011-12 It is in the long term, however, that the cutbacks will have the most impact, affecting the ability of the education system to cater to a growing population and an economy that needs more and more high-skilled workers. Indeed, according to a report by the Public Policy Institute of California (2012), by 2025, the State is expected to have nearly 1 million fewer college graduates than it needs to meet projected economic demand. In short, if the current cuts in spending and reductions in course offering and enrolments continue, California is heading for a skills crisis.
Argument in support of public funding The sector is aware of the edge of the cliff that the State is advancing towards, and arguments are being made that this is the time to increase funding, if not at least maintain it in real terms. According to a study by University of California, California’s Fiscal Returns On Investments In Higher Education (Brady, Hout and Stiles, 2012) for every dollar the State invests in higher education it receives a net return of three dollars, due to the broader social and economic benefits that having a higher proportion of tertiary educated population brings (e.g. increased taxation revenue, higher standards of living, increased employment, less strain on social welfare and justice systems). Compellingly, the UC report found that by the time today’s college graduates reach age 50 they will have repaid the nearly $4.5 billion dollars the State originally invested in them, plus an additional $10 billion. As a result, the authors of the report argue that it is precisely when the State is suffering from a budget deficit and high unemployment rates that there is substantial benefit in increasing the numbers of college graduates, and that appropriate funding support for this should be prioritised. NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
Proposition 30 – the Governor’s gambit on higher education The public discourse in the State on public spending has been spurred by a proposal to increase State revenue. Californian Governor Jerry Brown has put forward legislation (Proposition 30, The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012) that would increase the State’s sales tax by a quarter-cent for four years and increase personal income tax rates on incomes above $250,000 (above $500,000 for joint filers) for seven years. The measure also guarantees that local governments continue to receive the share of tax revenues transferred to them in 2011 to pay for a number of public safety programs. In a politically interesting move, Proposition 30 has been included in the 2012-13 State budget as passed, however, the measure requires support from more than 50 per cent of voters to pass, and opinion is divided. Not surprisingly, the University of California has endorsed the proposal and views increased funding as imperative to its future, even producing a table to illustrate the impact on funding if the Bill is to fail: 4,000
$879 million in cuts since 2007-08
$1.13 billion in cuts if tax initiative fails
$3.257 billion in State General Funds
$1.22 billion in new costs since 2007-08
Source: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/28047 Put simply, if the November tax measure is not passed, there will be a shortfall to the funding system of billions of dollars that will need to be made up from elsewhere.
Where to for the future? It has been reported that the CSU, which has a total of approximately 427,000 students, will raise tuition fees by 5 per cent on all 23 of its campuses if the November tax measure fails. However, the increase in fees would only bring in approximately $58m in the 2012-2013 academic year, not enough to cover the projected shortfall of $250m. At the smaller UC, reports are that tuition at a number of campuses, such as UCLA, UC-Berkeley and UC-Davis (with a total of more than 220,000 students), could rise by up to 20 per cent, or more than $2,400 per student, if the tax measure fails. It is clear that the stakes are high, and that California’s education system is in deep crisis. The question will now be whether the voters of California consider a higher quality, internationally renowned higher education to be worth investing in. A Terri MacDonald, Policy & Research Officer 31
NATIONAL COUNCIL NEWS FROM THE NET
Crowdsourcing Learning A
ccording to Wikipedia, crowdsourcing is a process which involves outsourcing tasks to a distributed group of people – a public sharing of tasks with a crowd of volunteers which is not pre-determined, much like Wikipedia itself. The essence of crowdsourcing, then, can be seen in survey interviews of randomly-selected people in the street in the task of determining public opinion. It reaches its apogee, however, when amplified through the use of Information and Communication Technologies, as with online applications such as Facebook and Twitter. The term ‘crowdsourcing’ is being used more and more on the Internet and applied to a diverse range of activities, including online and blended learning, even in higher education. In many cases it is just a new label for old practices – new bottles for old wine – but if it helps the old practices to mature and improve with age, why reject the amplification of effective practices just because of the new label? The searchable archives of the US Chronicle of Higher Education at chronicle.com are rich in examples of crowdsourcing. A few examples follow: CERN’s Citizen Cyberscience Centre in Switzerland invites members of the public to help analyse scientific data – and link their home computers into virtual supercomputers – to cope with new data generated at a rate of one gigabyte per second. Such collaboration might well be feasible when in China, for instance, more than 100 million people have joined the Internet in the last eighteen months. Further information about citizen scientists is at www.billionbrainblog.com. Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University enlists hundreds of amateur astronomers to assist with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Astronomy at the University of Oxford also uses crowdsourcing on its Galaxy Zoo website that invites anyone to help categorize images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, now reinforced by the Hubble telescope. Galaxy Zoo, at www.galaxyzoo.org also hosts projects in climatology, biology and the humanities. The Centre for History and New Media at George Mason University is crowdsourcing the transcribing of digital images of nearly 45,000 documents to reconstruct the US federal War Office, which burned down in 1800. The War Office was the main agency of the US between the administrations of George Washington and John Adams. It is at wardepartmentpapers.org. The Bentham Project, based at University College London, has been working on a 70-volume Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham since 1958. With 40,000 manuscripts still to be transcribed in late 2010, UCL resorted to crowdsourcing and enlisted the help of 1,700 online volunteers and more than 4,000 transcriptions have been completed. See www.ucl.ac.uk/Bentham-Project. Perhaps an even more significant development in crowdsourcing has been its use in teaching and learning in Higher Education. Although not often labelled as such, crowdsourcing is implicit in many of the innovative teaching and learning techniques freely available on the Internet. The Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) at www.herdsa.org.au is a rich repository of publica32
tions and conference proceedings detailing innovative teaching and learning in higher and tertiary education. The Australian Government’s Office for Learning and Teaching subsumes the former Australian Learning and Teaching Council and its website at www.olt.gov.au has a searchable Resource Library of more than 400 resources, about a third of which have been awarded the Good Practice label – what Facebook might call a Badge of honour, or LinkedIn calls an Endorsement of a skill or expertise. The Office for Learning and Teaching also supports a number of Networks – national, state-based and discipline-based – which facilitate information exchange and critique among critical friends in tertiary education. This could be a model for collaboration across schools and schooling sectors. Professor Geoff Crisp’s Transforming Assessment website at transformingassessment.com is another great source of ideas for teaching, learning and assessment, particularly its Webinars and the Transforming Assessment channel on YouTube at www.youtube.com. Crowdsourcing the Lecture might involve an online pre-test to determine what the students know about the subject-matter, where are the most common gaps in their knowledge and what misconceptions are leading them astray. The aggregated data from the pre-test can help the lecturer shape the balance of emphases in the delivered lecture to maximize its relevance for the greatest number of students. The delivery of the lecture might be accompanied by a stream of student tweets to a lecture hashtag – synchronously on display to all during the lecture or reviewed after the lecture. Some students might take their lecture notes in tweets in parallel with the lecture, displayed for all to respond to on the fly, much like Q&A on television, or reviewed after the event to evaluate the lecture. The stream of tweets might also be useful in establishing student discussion groups in a Circle on Google+, either moderated by a tutor or independently. Alternatively, the lecture might be stored or streamed as a video on YouTube for pre-homework, and the lecture-time used for more interactive learning activities, thus increasing one-on-one time with students. Any subsequent assessment tasks on the subject-matter of the lecture should require a list of references, web sources and modules of online courses used by the student. These sources – from MIT, Stanford, Oxford or wherever – should be harvested by the lecturer and considered for inclusion in future versions of the lecture. With a demographic profile of each student – much like their Facebook homepage, or their academic record – it would be possible NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
LOWERING THE BOOM
Tam U reform soldiers on Y
es, it’s that time of the year again: mouldering piles of unmarked essays, memos urging us to meet ridiculous deadlines for exam results, offers of voluntary early retirement, season’s greetings from overpaid managers and my annual pilgrimage to sit at the feet of Tamworth University’s legendary vice-chancellor, president and supreme leader, Cal D’Aria. Last year I found him depressed about the increasing tendency of older universities to steal his innovations, but hopeful about the prospect of Mr Rabbit taking the country back to the good old days. This year Cal was almost suicidal. ‘The carbon tax has taken a wrecking ball to Rabbit’s credibility’, he groaned. ‘I had him lined up for an honorary doctorate to get in his good books, but now I find he doesn’t have any! Even his own Party aren’t listening to him.’ Cal has always led the way with university reform. Tam U pioneered the use of casual staff for teaching to economise on buildings and facilities, as well as recruiting overseas students with promises of easy degrees and an armchair ride to citizenship. He recognised the need to encourage his small group of research staff to focus on the least publishable unit to maximise their publication counts and impress the Canberra beancounters, recruiting Dr Ongo from the new maxiDepartment of Higher Education, Research, Employment, Tourism, Infrastructure and Commerce [HERETIC] to advise him on ways of rorting the system – or, as he prefers to put it, ‘showing our work in the best possible light’. Cal was the first vice-chancellor to call himself also president and supreme leader to justify a half-million-dollar salary package. His institution led the way with on-line learning, recognising that it costs almost nothing to download and re-badge materials prepared by other institutions. ‘Little costs, great returns and the punters have no idea how they are being fleeced’, he chortled. His corporate box at the annual country music festival and honorary doctorates for sports legends gave his institution great exposure for a small outlay. And they pioneered downtown shopfronts to make it easy for shoppers to pick up credits toward a degree on their loyalty cards between the supermarket and the bottle shop. But the problem for brave little Tam U is that all of its innovations are now being taken up by older universities. ‘Even the Gang of Eight has got desperate enough to be stealing our ideas’, he complained. Cal had just finished reading Dr Ongo’s copy of Richard Hil’s book Whackademia. The book reinforced his gloomy percep-
tion. ‘For years Tam U has been dreaming up innovative ways to cut costs, reduce quality and camouflage it all with spin, mission statements and meaningless slogans. Now every one of our ideas has been taken up somewhere else in the system!’, Cal muttered angrily. ‘Some of those ideas are now almost mandatory. I’m just not sure what we can do now’, he continued. ‘Now that all of the teaching is done by casual staff desperate enough to sign outrageously exploitative contracts, how can we cut costs any further? All our professors are already funded by private companies willing to buy a bit of academic credibility, so there is no room to move any further there. We don’t have a governing Council, just a compliant board of five old codgers whose eyesight isn’t good enough to read my report, so I can’t do much more there. I’ve even sold the coffee machine from the administrative staff common room and told them to bring in their own drinks!’ I left for the train back to the city feeling gloomy myself. Cal has always been a few years ahead of the rest of the university system. Now he has found there just aren’t any more ways to cut costs. He has already scrapped any idea of quality in favour of spin and slogans, has got rid of all the tenured academics and only employs professors when they are funded from outside the university. If even Cal is stumped for ideas to cut costs any further, will the whole system hit the same buffers in a few years time? Is the Law of Diminishing Returns finally being demonstrated in the higher education system? I think I need that Christmas drink... A Ian Lowe is Emeritus Professor of Science, Technology and Society at Griffith University.
Crowdsourcing Learning cont... to cross-match their personal details, the sources they found most useful and their grades achieved, much like Google Analytics does for targeted marketing. Eventually, such analytics would make it possible to refer different cohorts of students to the most effective sources of learning for their demographic group respectively. Thus one could crowdsource the best balance of emphases in the lecture, the best style of delivery of the lecture and the best references for the various cohorts of students – all from work done by the students Of course, to garner a number of instances sufficient to make generalisations might take many years (or have been internalised NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
by a very good, experienced lecturer). Alternatively, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) with 100,000 or more voluntary students could provide a scale sufficient for the analytics to provide reliable generalisations to inform a fee-paying, blended course of proven high quality. The online students might pay only low or no fees, and they contribute personal details, intellectual effort and the references they have researched, but they require no payment for their crowdsourced research and development effort. A Pat Wright is Director of the Centre for Labour Research at the University of Adelaide. email: firstname.lastname@example.org 33
NATIONAL THE THESISCOUNCIL WHISPERER
The measure of things T
he problem with universities is not that we measure things like student satisfaction and research output, but that we don’t measure enough. Do I have your attention yet? I thought so. Measurement has become something of a touchy issue in academic circles. That opening statement probably made some of you angry, but let me explain before you jump to your keyboards to flame the NTEU for giving me a column to espouse my views. Performance metrics – generating data about how well or badly the in human misery and money and its effects are often hidden from university performs on various activities – has become something direct view. In many institutions you will find people who clean up of an obsession for governments of right and left wing persuasions. the mess. Some of these people are the so called ‘angel superviUniversities have whole units of people dedicated to monitoring persors’; academics of long experience who are experienced at helping formance and reporting back to government. Despite cries from acaresearch students who have fallen by the wayside. Others are early demics that measuring student feedback is not a way to ensure quality career researchers, who often cut their research supervising teeth teaching, or that counting research publications is no way to ensure on picking up the leftover students. In many cases the clean up crew research quality, there’s no sign of this trend ending any time soon. are not formally recognised for this work, or their record looks poor The complaints are justified; because they are primarily dealing measurement can produce perwith students who are at risk of not verse effects. Let’s take research finishing at all. Despite cries from academics that metrics as an example. Universities You might be thinking somemeasuring student feedback is not a way count the number of papers pubthing like ‘not everything that to ensure quality teaching... there’s no lished, the number of research stucounts can be measured’ – but, sign of this trend ending any time soon. dents graduated and the amount these days, most of it can. Univerof competitive grant money won sities continue to use extremely and deem an academic ‘research crude techniques to measure peractive’, or not. Recently my institution started enforcing standards laid formance when much more supple and powerful ones are available. out in the Higher Education Standards Framework (HESF), which was My tiny 11 inch MacBook Air, less than the size of an A4 piece of quietly passed into law earlier this year. Non-research active academpaper, can form incredible feats of number crunching. I have been ics cannot be a primary supervisor for a research student; they must using it to dabble in the emerging field of social network analysis, be stewarded by another staff member. which concentrates on the connections, rather than the individuResearch supervision quality problems solved? als. It seems to me that there is vast, untapped potential in this form Well, not really. of analysis. If we start measuring research performance differently, This measure of research activity is as much a measure of privitreating the basic unit of measurement as clusters, rather than indilege as it is performance – or ability. When achievements are seen viduals, the strategies we can use to increase output – and happiness as the work of the (heroic) individual, other aspects of the research – increase too. We can stop concentrating our efforts on blaming and environment which contribute to this success - or not - are wiped remediating ‘poor performers’ and start looking at the conditions that away. Access to research leave, access to new students, access to cause poor performance to exist in the first place. grant money is difficult for some researchers, particularly early career So why aren’t we doing it? The answer, I suspect, is that counting researchers. individuals is just easier – and cheaper. You don’t need particularly But it is not only the privilege argument that can be mounted highly trained staff to manage spreadsheets, whereas social network against the use of such crude measures; there is also a quality arguanalysis requires people like myself: researchers who are critically ment. No university, to my knowledge, counts the ‘churn’ of a superinformed and can ask the right questions. But I think we deserve visor, the number of students he or she loses in the process, in the better measuring from our employers, so let’s stop fighting performeasure of research activity. mance measures and start demanding better measurement practices Dumping under-performing research students – often women – one performance indicator at a time. A and minorities who have more trouble negotiating the academic Advocate is pleased to introduce our newest columnist, environment – is a sensible, if heartless, strategy for supervisors who Dr Inger Mewburn, The Thesis Whisperer. Inger does research on research and writes have a weather eye to their performance indicators. In my work as a about it; you can find her on the internet and on Twitter. The rest of the time she research educator I have seen countless examples of this practice in listens to research students tell her their troubles and thinks about stuff. action – even more so since I started blogging and hearing research Inger blogs at www.thesiswhisperer.com student stories from around the world. Churn represents a huge cost 34
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
LETTER FROM NEW ZEALAND/AOTEAROA
SANDRA GREY, TEU
Feliz Navitas, but can we return this gift? A
ustralia and New Zealand share many things. You give us your banks, your mineral deposits, and access to your biggest sporting tournaments - and we give you half the population of the Gold Coast. It is not quite symbiotic, but it works as a typical sibling relationship. However, we really would like to have had an exchange card with one of you recent ‘gifts’. Recently our University of Canterbury agreed to import Australianbased private education provider Navitas Limited to establish an affiliated college on campus that will recruit and prepare international students for degree study. University of Canterbury Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr says the university hopes international undergraduate students will account for approximately 15 percent of funded enrolment within ten years. Currently 8 per cent of undergraduates Canterbury are international students. When this was announced, all we knew about Navitas was what we could find on Google - it is an Australian stock exchange listed company whose first responsibility is to return a profit to those shareholders, not to improve the education opportunities for people in Canterbury. So we asked around our sister unions, including NTEU. Education International consultant David Robinson told us all these Navitas deals are pretty much the same around the world. ‘They involve the outsourcing of international student recruitment and some academic work (i.e. language training). All the deals also ‘guarantee’ students who pay extraordinarily high fees access to the regular academic stream upon completion of the Navitas ‘foundation’ program.’ In the United Kingdom, where Navitas has operated for several years, the local tertiary education union UCU noted that Navitas’ corporate strategy identifies the major conditions for its success as being the ‘lack of tertiary infrastructure in source countries’, where students are recruited from, and the ‘real reduction of government funding (increasing reliance of universities on full-fee paying international students)’. Staff working in private pathways colleges in the UK have reported being pressured to ensure that students pass their programs even if they have not achieved the program requirements. In both the United Kingdom and Canada, Navitas has a reputation for outsourcing the work of academics and employing staff outside of the relevant collective agreement, with lower rates of pay, little or no benefits, more contact hours and heavier workloads. In Britain, the UCU reports that ventures such as Navitas maintain their profits by recruiting more students. That means students arrive with a lower than usual level of ability. ‘They are then offered a fast track to an undergraduate degree which places the staff delivering the courses under tremendous strain.’ ‘If staff want to maintain standards and ensure that students are not fed into the university at lower levels of ability they have to work harder than before. Worse than this, they have to do so with standNOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
ardised off-the-shelf materials that, it is reported, are not produced by specialists in English for Academic Purposes.’ NTEU told us, as you may know, Navitas has introduced a culture of casualisation and lower superannuation for staff. Roughly 90 per cent of Navitas’ Australian teaching staff are in casual employment, and the majority of administrative staff it employs are also casual. We asked Navitas whether its University of Canterbury staff would have permanent jobs. Navitas told us, evasively, ‘typically our colleges employ a number of permanent employees and casual positions.’ Its Canterbury staff will not be on the University of Canterbury collective employment agreement negotiated by TEU but that pay rates and conditions would be ‘comparable’ and ‘competitive’. ‘In fact,’ said Navitas Group Manager Public Relations, James Fuller, ‘at many of our colleges our teachers already work at the University and they use the extra Navitas work to supplement their incomes.’ All New Zealand universities are under pressure from the government to increase international student numbers, but Canterbury is already a very experienced recruiter of international students. In choosing to sign a contract with Navitas it is implicitly conceding that Navitas can either do the job cheaper than it can, or will import students that the University could not take itself. A college set-up by Navitas will be under pressure to make profits and satisfy stock-market expectations. We believe that the University of Canterbury can provide a better education to international students by employing its own people and keeping the provision in-house. As a public institution it also has a responsibility not to turn good jobs into casual precarious employment, via contracting out. There is no reason the University cannot continue to be the employer and provide these courses as it does now. Two weeks after Canterbury announced its Navitas plan it also announced plans to shut down its English language programme for international students and make all seven staff redundant. The University and Navitas both assure us the two announcements are unrelated. We believe, even if this deal goes ahead, the University of Canterbury should require Navitas to employ staff in permanent positions on the same terms and conditions as its own staff – otherwise it is obvious that Navitas’ business plan to make a profit off education is simply to cut pay and working conditions for staff. We would rather the things we share with Australia are cooperation and public education, not casualised work, student fees and loss of working conditions. A Sandra Grey is National President/Te Tumu Whakarae, New Zealand Tertiary Education Union/Te Hautū Kahurangi o Aotearoa TEU www.teu.ac.nz 35
National Council 2012 W
ith the latest bargaining round underway and higher education staff under constant pressure to do more with less, NTEU’s annual National Council was a focussed meeting addressing the key issues as they are experienced in our workplaces. Delegates from all Branches of the NTEU participated in the National Council held in Melbourne 4–6 October. Of the 121 delegates, 34 were attending their first Council Meeting, having been elected in the recent NTEU elections. Also represented were the recently formed NAVITAS and Research Institutes Branches. The TAFE Branch representing general staff in Victoria TAFE colleges were particularly warmly welcomed by delegates, and applauded on their campaign against the massive Liberal Government budget cuts to TAFE that are closing down courses and campuses throughout Victoria, putting many out of work and denying retraining to many more.
Secure Jobs The focus at this Council was squarely on jobs. In many workplaces, members are finding their jobs are threatened. In the spotlight, are the academics who are being shifted into ‘teaching only’ roles. At Top: National Council 2012 in session. Middle: Aunty Carolyn Briggs delivering the Welcome to Country. Left: Ged Kearney, ACTU President. All photos Paul Clifton 36
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
the same time, over half the teaching in universities is being done by casual academics, who do not have any job security from one semester to the next. General staff are drowning under the intensification of their jobs as those who leave are not replaced. Is it any wonder the Union has to keep arguing for evidence of ‘genuine’ redundancies as the work is not going; only the workers while student numbers keep increasing? In the plenary session on Secure Jobs, Professor Rhonda Small (La Trobe) enlightened Councillors to another embarrassing reality in our universities, that like casualised teaching, managements have ignored. Research only staff (academic and HEW classified) are an increasing proportion of the university workforce, but also increasingly are employed as limited term contractors. Professor Small spoke of her own experience of numerous contracts over two decades until she was finally offered an ongoing position only a few years ago. Keynote speaker, ACTU President Ged Kearney emphasised the commitment of the ACTU to the Secure Jobs Better Future Campaign, building upon the evidence and recommendations of the Howe Inquiry into insecure work. She also commended the strong participation of the NTEU in the ACTU campaign, and particularly congratulated NTEU academic casual activists who had participated in the Howe Inquiry. Dale Tweedie (Macquarie) spoke eloquently on behalf of academic casuals, and Robyn May (Griffith) updated the Council on her PhD research findings which further confirm the stories of the experiences of casuals. The session concluded by viewing the just released Chaser style incursion into a recent Sydney conference to help employers with ‘reducing employment costs through a contingent workforce’. See www.securejobs.org.au or search ‘Businesses Against Families’ on You Tube.
Work and careers in universities Throughout the Council plenary sessions, there were several opportunities for delegates to react as their own experiences were confirmed as evidence was produced from research on university staff across the sector. On the first day Professor David Peetz (Griffith) and one of the Chief Investigators in the ARC linkage funded project, Gender and Employment Equity: Strategies for advancement in Australian Universities, reported upon the findings of the Work and Careers in Australian Universities Survey conducted across 19 universities late last year. (The report will be available to all members on the NTEU website very soon.) NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
Left: Angelo Gavrielatos, AEU Federal President. Right: Councillors debating motions. In responding to Professor Peetz, Gabe Gooding (UWA) and Dr Kelvin Michael (UTAS) contextualised the findings on general and academic staff within the mandatory claims for this current round of enterprise bargaining. The following plenary on Enterprise Bargaining opened with the screening of short bargaining campaign videos produced by the Curtin University Branch. (Negotiations on the Curtin Agreement continued during Council, see article on Curtin bargaining, p.10.) General Secretary Grahame McCulloch led a lively discussion on the state of bargaining around the country and many delegates had the opportunity to share their experiences and their opinions. The final plenary focussed upon a qualitative research project being undertaken by the National Policy and Research Unit on the ways that universities are using the ERA to manage staff workloads and careers. The project originated from reports that universities were still using the officially abandoned ‘journal rankings’ to assess individual academics’ research performance, but wider issues were soon revealed. Academics reported that ERA outcomes are being used inappropriately and unfairly in performance appraisals and workload determination. Others spoke of pressure to shift their research into fields that will count in areas where the university is seeking to improve their ERA standing. The project report will be presented to the National Executive in November. President of the University of Melbourne Graduate Students Association, Martin Spencer spoke of how the ERA environment is impacting upon the research training environment and upon graduate students. Later, New Zealand Tertiary Education Union Vice-President, Alex Simms explained how similar policies are impacting higher education in New Zealand. Australia Education Union (AEU) Federal President, Angelo Gavrielatos made a passionate address to Council on the AEU’s campaign for public education and its impact upon the Gonski Review of school education. He thanked NTEU for supporting this campaign and for our ongoing collaboration nationally and internationally.
Industrial, policy & recruitment In between the plenary sessions, a raft of motions were considered across industrial, policy and membership matters. Vigorous debates at last year’s Council about the politics and efficacy of employing external specialist recruiters had fallen away as the Union has adopted 37
a mixed model approach following rapid increases in membership numbers largely through the efforts of the specialist recruiters. Motions on workplace bullying, insecure work campaigns, academic probation, multiple teaching sessions, and academic workloads all attracted passionate contributions. Delegates re-affirmed the NTEU’s opposition to tuition fees, but also endorsed the NTEU supporting a flat rate HECS within the current debate around HECS and base funding.
Teaching, general staff, women and Indigenous conferences A series of conferences are planned for 2013. As well as the annual Indigenous Forum and biennial Women’s Conference, Council decided to hold a conference dedicated to university teaching, in recognition that NTEU needs to establish our own forum to debate the current issues in university teaching. Setting our own agenda would better position the Union in the debates over the educational and professional impacts of the digital revolution and mass higher education within a neo-liberal university system. Above Left: Watching the ACTU’s Business Against Families video. Above Right: Dale Tweedie speaking on behalf of academic casuals. Below Left: Jeannie Rea presenting Lyn Bloom with her Life Membership. Below Right: National Councillors queuing to vote.
All delegates enthusiastically endorsed a conference on general staff careers in universities again in recognition of the changes under way in general staff occupations, careers and roles.
Executive elections National Executive elections were held for the ten delegates directly elected from the Council which includes the National Vice-Presidents. Dr Kelvin Michael (Tasmania) was elected Vice-President (Academic) and Dr Lynda Davies (Griffith) as Vice-President (General Staff ). Elected to the Executive were Virginia Mansel Lees (La Trobe), Andrew Bonnell (UQ), Jan Sinclair-Jones (Curtin), John Sinclair (ACU), Linda Cecere (Adelaide), Melissa Slee (RMIT), Ryan Hsu (Swinburne) and Michael Thomson (Sydney).
Farewells While welcoming the new Executive, Council also recognised the work of retiring National Executive members including long serving members, Dr Lyn Bloom (see Life Members, p.40) and Derek Corrigan. Derek, a technical officer at the ANU and on the National Executive since 2004, has made an outstanding contribution, including as an advocate for general staff. He has served consistently on the Financial Working Party and as the Executive nominee on the Staffing and Finance Committee. His attention to detail on the numbers, along with that of Lyn, will be hard to replace. They will be sorely missed.
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
The new NTEU National Executive: Michael Thomson (USyd), Lynda Davies (Vice-President General Staff), Andrew Bonnell (UQ), Margaret Lee (Qld Division Secretary), Linda Cecere (Adelaide), Gabe Gooding (WA Division Secretary), Ryan Hsu (Swinburne), Grahame McCulloch (General Secretary, back row), Colin Long (Vic Division Secretary), Jeannie Rea (President, back row), Matthew McGowan (National Assistant Secretary), Virginia Mansel Lees (La Trobe), Genevieve Kelly (NSW Division Secretary), Terry Mason (IPC Chair), Jan Sinclair-Jones (Curtin), John Sinclair (ACU), Kelvin Michael (VicePresident Academic), Mel Slee (RMIT), Kevin Rouse (SA Division Secretary), Stephen Darwin (ACT Division Secretary). Absent: Lolita Wikander (NT Division Secretary) Jillian Miller retired as the Indigenous Policy Committee (IPC) Chair, who also sits on the Executive. Jillian, Coordinator of Indigenous Student Services at UniSA brought a long history as a union, education and community activist to the Executive. She made a memorable contribution to the 6th World Congress of Education International in Cape Town last year when she called on EI to get on with implementing standing policy to support Indigenous education workers. Jillian continues to represent South Australia on the IPC. Also retiring from the National Executive were Susan Price, John Fitzsimmons and Helen Masterman-Smith. Terry Mason retired as a Council elected member, but returns to the Executive as the new IPC Chair. Serving on the National Executive, along which also includes the Division Secretaries and full time National Officers, is a serious undertaking with enormous responsibility to ensure that the Union operates properly and is representative of the interests of members. NTEU members are very well served by our National Executive members.
NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
Retiring as Vice-Presidents were Gabe Gooding (General Staff ), and Professor Greg McCarthy (Academic). Over the past two years, Gabe and Greg provided leadership in their respective general staff and academic areas to the National Executive working parties established to develop the claims for this round of bargaining. Their counsel, as part of the national leadership team, has been important over the past two years with the changeover of two of the three fulltime elected officers. While Gabe continues on the Executive as the new WA Division Secretary, Greg leaves to focus upon his education leadership role at the University of Adelaide, where he is Head of the School of Social Sciences. Greg has been on the Executive for 8 years and Vice-President for three terms. He has provided leadership on research policy and advocacy, representing NTEU and Australian researchers nationally and internationally, including at the OECD. A Jeannie Rea, National President Below Left: Daryl Dâ€™Souza, RMIT. Below Right: Alex Simms, NZ TEU Vice-President.
Life Members E
very year, National Council honours those retiring members who have given so much of their time, knowledge and passion to the Union.
Lyn Bloom WA Division Lyn Bloom has an Honours degree in Mathematics from the University of Queensland, MSc and PhD degrees in Mathematics from ANU and a Diploma of Education from Murdoch University. Lyn retired on 16 October 2012 after having worked in the Higher Education sector since 1967. Lyn held appointments at ANU (1967–1973), The University of Tasmania (1974), Murdoch University (1975–1981; and as a casual staff member 2007–2010) and Edith Cowan University (1982–2006). From October 2006 to October 2012 Lyn has been the WA Division Secretary, which is now a full-time paid Elected Officer position. During her academic career Lyn was active in both Teaching and Research, served on a wide range of University Committees and spent six years (1997 – 2003) as an elected academic staff member on the Edith Cowan University Council. Lyn Bloom has been an active member of the NTEU, and its predecessors the Murdoch University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) and the Edith Cowan University Academic Staff Association (ECUASA), from 1975 to the present time. Lyn has held elected positions at the Branch, Division and National levels. Whilst the bare facts are impressive, what is more impressive is the way that Lyn has performed in these roles. Lyn became ECU Branch President after a period of instability and quickly proved to be strategically very capable and relentless in her approach. She has an ability to focus in at the micro level covering detail and analysis that most would find difficult. She tackles her job at a serious and calculated level and she will never let go of an issue. Her knowledge of process is vast and she will follow-up every detail - as many university managers and the General Secretary will no doubt attest. The decision to take industrial action at ECU several years ago was a serious consid40
eration, one that took its toll on Lyn at the time, but one that was highly successful, gaining her a great deal of respect on both sides of the ‘uni-politcal fence’ - members and management. When there was a clear need for someone to step up and take the WA Division into a whole new model of operating, Lyn took up that challenge. It was no easy task to take what had largely been a shell of a Division and mold it into a united whole. During her term as the first paid Division Secretary she has brought a high level of professionalism to the Division that is reflected in all aspects of our work. She has taken up a position on the UnionsWA Executive and been an active participant. Lyn’s development of relationships with other unions played a part in the decision of the CPSU to abandon representation of general staff in WA and has served us in good stead during bargaining where other unions have been consistently supportive of NTEU’s position. Lyn will never give up and this is the leadership that she has always provided. Her legacy to ECU and to WA more broadly is enormous and she will be greatly missed.
Neil Robinson RMIT Branch If ever there was an iconic figure at the RMIT Branch of the NTEU, it has got to be Neil Robinson who, at the time of writing had served RMIT University since 1969, if one counts the merger of the Phillip Institute of Technology and RMIT. Neil negotiated the merger agreement between Phillip Institute and RMIT. Neil has served in every major role at the RMIT Branch for 20 years, including Ordinary Committee Member, Branch Secretary, Branch VP (Academic) and Branch President. During this entire period, and to date, he has also been the Branch endorsed candidate on Academic Board, and the Branch-endorsed candidate for 10 years, on University Council, relinquishing the latter role this year (2012).
Prior to 1992 Neil was an academic staff member since 1982 at Phillip Institute of Technology, later to merge with RMIT to become the Bundoora campus (of RMIT University). Phillip Institute of Technology itself was a merger of Preston Institute of Technology and SCV (Coburg), where Neil worked during 1969—1982. He entered Preston Institute of Technology after various stints as a Senior Physics Teacher with the Victorian Education Department during 1965—1968. Neil’s union activities began very early in his working life, beginning in his role as Branch Secretary of the Technical Teacher’s Association of Victoria. His experience is too extensive to give justice to in such a little space; a small sample of his many significant achievements includes the following: 1. Negotiated departure packages for 35+ Engineering staff after the Partridge Report recommended the shutdown of Engineering at Preston Institute of Technology. 2. Helped negotiate the formation of Phillip Institute of Technology, in 1981. 3. Foundation member of Council of Academic Staff Associations (CASA), 1982-92. CASA Executive 1984-94. VP CASA and instrumental in Victoria going for State Awards (Leave Award first one). 4. Secretary, VP and President of Phillip Institute of Technology Academic Staff Association (PASA), 1982-92. Victorian Division Executive + PASA Executive (Secretary, VP, President) 1980-94. 5. Foundation member Union of Australian College of Academics. 6. Negotiating team to form the NTEU, being instrumental in getting FAUSA to agree to the formation of the NTEU, of which he was a Foundation member. 7. NTEU Victorian Division Executive (1994—2012), including 4 years as Division President. 8. Negotiating team for all RMIT Higher Education collective bargaining rounds since 1994, including as lead negotiator in 1994 and 2010.
Tina Kulksi Curtin Branch Tina Kulski‘s commitment to the Curtin Branch of the NTEU has been extraordinary. Her involvement at all levels of the UniverNTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
YOUR UNION sity as NTEU nominee and representative is testament to her support of the general and individual membership across all areas of the University. Most particularly Tina has worked tirelessly for improvements to academic workload provisions in our Agreement and has supported countless members through processes of challenging unreasonable workloads. Although she has not carried a formal ‘Executive’ position on the Branch Committee, Tina has provided massive support to each of us in our various roles. Tina has a wonderful written turn of phrase and her capacity to craft a strong and incisive message has been invaluable. Her support of NTEU staff is consistently remarked upon and her collegiality at the Bargaining and meeting table has been solid as a rock. Her subtle but cheeky sense of humour is a joy to experience, especially when it has been directed at some of the most breathtakingly idiotic management agendas. All of that aside, Tina can be a passionate advocate and certainly one to have on your side. She has earned profound respect from both members and management over the years. Her personal support to me as Branch President as well as the Industrial officers, Peter Stokes and Alex Leszczynski and Branch Organiser Rod Fraser, particularly through two Rounds of protracted bargaining with a hostile management at Curtin has been relentless. Even though she is located on the far reaches of campus, she is only ever a phone call away and we have spent many hours poring over documents, clauses and FWA submissions over the years. None of this has been done with any real reduction in her day to day workload. Tina will be a huge loss to the Branch and most particularly to the members who will miss her far more than some sections of management.
has remained active within the University as a researcher, and continues to serve on the Division Council. At the national level, he has represented Tasmania as a National Councillor at many meetings, and is well known for his impassioned speeches about the decline of democracy in academic governance. He has participated in a number of National Executive meetings as a proxy, and has contributed to the debates in that forum. He has brought many skills to these various roles, including level-headedness, commitment to a various causes, and statesmanship.
Tom Dunning Tasmanian Division
Tom Dunning has been a member of the NTEU since 1995, and has served ably the Union at the University of Tasmania, as a member of Division Council continuously since 1998, and holding the role of Division Secretary from 1998 to 2008. He has continued to serve on the Division Council since stepping down from the secretarial role. At the national level, he has represented Tasmania as a member of National Executive from 2000 to 2008. Tom has been committed to the cause of the NTEU, and for many years was the face of the Union at the Launceston campus of the University. He has performed his roles in an efficient manner, while maintaining an appropriate balance between representing members and fronting management.
Lorna Kaino ECU Branch
Peter Chapman Tasmanian Division Peter has been a member of the NTEU since its inception, having been a previous member of FAUSA. He has provided inspired and exemplary service to the Union at the University of Tasmania, having served on the Division Council continuously since 1998, with two terms as Division President, and two terms as Vice-President (Academic). Since formally retiring in 2009, he NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
Being a unionist on the Bunbury campus was not without its challenges, but Lorna’s calm and collected manner ensured that rational arguments were heard and employed. She also ensured that we in Perth were well informed which included her regularly travelling up for Union meetings and helping with the organisation of activities on the Bunbury campus. We would like to honour her commitment to the Union and collegiality through this Life Membership.
Lorna Kaino was employed at the ECU Bunbury campus, a veritable outpost when it comes to union activity. Even before joining the Branch Committee she kept us informed about the goings on at this campus which, being in a country town, were rather different from the city based campuses of ECU. After all, what other campus can boast a body-building dean who makes the front page of The West Australian newspaper?
Alan Needham ECU Branch Alan Needham is an old unionist. He was a member of the Academic Staff Association of UNSW for 3 years, followed by 5 years in ISSOA and upon becoming a staff member of WACAE he joined UACA in 1987 and in due course became a member of the NTEU ECU Branch. He was elected Secretary of the ECU Branch Committee in 2004 despite not particularly liking committees, and served as Branch President for 4 years, leading the negotiations for two Enterprise Agreements. But much more importantly, he provided leadership for the Branch during a particularly difficult period in our Branch history (mass redundancies in the end of 2006 and a very unsettled membership as a consequence). He ensured that meetings ran on time, were well oiled (no meeting without a glass of wine, unless he was teaching Foundation Science) and to the point. Alan’s clarity of purpose and no nonsense attitude helped the Committee stay focused on our goals, while his weekly “NTEUsday” Branch e-mails kept members informed of industrial and other Union issues. We would like to thank him for his service through this Life Membership nomination and wish him a stimulating retirement (no doubt filled with travel, acting, golf, wine, charity work, rehabilitating kangaroo joeys). A 41
Merit Awards N
ational Council honoured three members in 2012 with Merit Awards as a recognition of their commitment to the Union.
Bernard Brian King
Dr Janice Dudley has been a member of the NTEU and its predecessor the Murdoch University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) since 1978 and initially served as a Workplace Contact. In 2006 Janice became a Branch Committee member and between 2006 and 2009 Janice was Branch Vice President (Academic). Janice served as Branch President 2009 –12 and a WA Division and National Councillor. Janice chaired the Enterprise Bargaining Campaign Team in Round 5 and took over the role of the Lead Bargainer from 2009 –10. During Janice’s time as President, Murdoch underwent a very large number of change management processes; at one time seven areas of the University were undergoing change management simultaneously. Janice ensured that management followed the Change Management Clause in the Agreement allowing staff to have meaningful feedback which had a significant effect on the changes proposed. Janice was also President during the time that Murdoch staff undertook successful industrial action including rolling stoppages and the withholding of student grades during 2010. Janice worked tirelessly to gather and maintain the support of the membership during this very difficult time at Murdoch University. In the final months of her term as President, Janice has built good links with Murdoch’s new Vice-Chancellor setting up processes for regular consultation between him and the NTEU. Janice has clearly demonstrated her commitment to the Branch, the NTEU and unionism in general through her work over the past several years and both the Murdoch Branch and the WA Division strongly recommend her for this award.
Posthumous Merit Award for Bernard Brian King (RIP 30.05.12), for loyal, active and dedicated commitment to the Union, and for all for which it stands. Brian King was a long time member, supporter and Executive Committee officer for the NTEU Australian Catholic University (ACU) Branch and the sub-Branch of the McAuley at Banyo QLD campus, holding Branch and sub-Branch positions including President, Vice-President and Secretary, as well as QLD Division Councillor, and Executive Committee member positions. It is the opinion of the Executive and Branch members that Brian be awarded a posthumous Merit Award for his services to the NTEU over a period of 21 years. Brian was a loyal member of the Brisbane (McAuley) Campus community, and one of its sternest critics. Capable of calling down God and all the angels to right a grievous injustice done by the Management - yet be one of the first to attend a time honoured event honouring the Nursing Profession and our students, the Fabiola Oration, or the many Careers expos and Graduations that are part of the School of Nursing and Midwifery. Brian was more than a believer in social justice and, at times to his detriment, he lived his beliefs. Colleagues agree that when they think of Brian, the word ‘integrity’ comes to mind - he held to his values with clear and unshakeable conviction, despite any personal cost that this might incur. He fought a long battle to achieve recognition of his previous service and leave entitlements, which resulted in his being sidelined and the need to fight another battle to be allocated to work commensurate with his level of employment. He was victorious, paving the way for other Union members in the future. Brian is remembered as loyal to the Union and colleagues, hardworking, thorough, and of course, contentious, which was part of his
charm even when a source of frustration to management. He championed the sessional staff and was instrumental in having them paid for the marking they were expected to do – irrespective of its contemporaneousness to the units taught. His actions allowed this act of neglect to be addressed across our three States and a Territory with marking built into the contracts of casual and sessional staff and now part of the workload allocation in the current Enterprise Bargaining Agreement. He fought for recognition of the time consuming nature of marking and moderation for all staff and consistently raised this as an issue within his faculty and within Branch negotiations, influencing later Enterprise Bargaining Agreements. In a time of oppression of union activities on campus, Brian achieved the approval for a permanent union notice board in the Brisbane Nursing staff room – as entitled by the Agreement. This, of itself, is unique within the ACU. Brian above all, called for and, expected equity and fairness in the dealings within the University. He had seen and experienced the brutalities of life, and was the first to rise to the defence of those who he saw as being the underdog. He expected no less of his colleagues, and was plain spoken when he saw what he regarded as ‘collusion with the enemy’. Not striking when required being a major sin in his eyes - an act of gross disloyalty and something never forgiven. He gave as good as he got – and did not suffer fools, yet many nurses in hospitals across the mighty State of Queensland owe their passion and professionalism in part to their brief passing within the ken of B.B (Bernard Brian) King. Indeed, his recent funeral brought forth many comments from former nursing and midwifery students about Brian’s inspiration for them to achieve well in their studies and career, making their studies ‘truly memorable’. Brian was able to defuse tense management and staff confrontations, including bargaining with his wicked sense of humour, yet he could be very serious when necessary. He was an enthusiastic champion of workers’ rights and helped many staff members steer a course through workplace issues and disputes – and for this, many will be forever grateful. He was to his own self, not perfect, but as true as nature would allow. He had his faults NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
YOUR UNION but loyalty, a commitment to the principles of social justice and the union movement were not any of them. He was the type of member who was more into doing, than talking about it. Not so much a leader as the person who would create the path to be followed by others – and follow as night would unto day. The ACU Branch of NTEU honours the passing of this honourable member of our Queensland community and hope that we have benefited from the time we had with him, and learned about the possible in ourselves, rather than accepting the situation as it was. Brian – you will be sorely missed.
Gabe Gooding UWA Branch
Gabe Gooding is now the NTEU WA Division Secretary and as such won’t be leaving the NTEU, but will be leaving the University of Western Australia Branch after some 14 years as a member of the Branch and the Branch Committee. Prior to 1998, general staff in Western Australian universities were unable to join the NTEU because coverage was held by the CPSU. Gabe, along with a small group of activists began a campaign in 1996 leading to a successful coverage case run by NTEU which paved the way for general staff to be free to join their union of choice. In the years from 1998 to 2003 there were strong cultural difficulties with the then UWA Branch accepting coverage of general staff at UWA and Gabe Gooding was steadfast in building general staff membership and representation within the Branch in spite of the resistance. In 1998 some 60 general staff joined the NTEU UWA Branch. The current number is 300 general staff at UWA and almost 1000 in the Division. Gabe has been a feisty powerhouse of union knowledge, strategy, bargaining and wordsmith skills. How many times have we been saved by Gabe saying – leave it with me, I’ll throw a few words together. Gabe’s commitment and comradeship will be a deep loss to the Branch but certainly a gain for the Division. A
NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
Greg McCarthy retires as NTEU National Vice-President (Academic) A
fter serving on the National Executive for eight years (including six years as Academic Vice-President) Greg McCarthy is returning to a role as an active rank and file member. As Head of the School of Social Sciences at the University of Adelaide, and with an active interest in public policy, politics, culture and the emergence of China, Greg brought wide and deep knowledge to the National Executive. Greg played an important role in formulating NTEU’s response to research policy and research funding (including a sharp critique of the limits and damage done by narrow performance-driven research metrics), was a strong advocate and guardian of good governance and financial management as a senior member of the Staffing and Finance Committee, and a major contributor to the Union’s advocacy and campaign work (drawing on his deep discipline-based knowledge of politics and public policy). It was (and will continue to be) a great pleasure to work with Greg and to have many detailed conversations about politics and history. Grahame McCulloch, General Secretary
New staff in NTEU offices T
o better help members to get to know Union staff, we are pleased to present these brief profiles of recently arrived Branch, Division and National staff.
Helena Spyrou Education & Training Officer National Office Helena has worked in education for 30 years in the school, TAFE, tertiary and community adult education sectors. Helena has come from the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) where she worked in education, advocacy, research and policy for eight years. She developed and implemented education programs as well as strategies for eliminating the exploitation of outworkers and for assisting retrenched workers. In a parallel life Helena is a producer and writer in community development arts projects. While at the TCFUA, Helena designed and produced, together with retrenched workers, seven arts events across Australia that gave voice to the experience and history of the thousands of workers retrenched from the industry. She has been actively involved in unions all of her working life. Helena joins Ken McAlpine as the new Education and Training Officer and looks forward to working with colleagues in the National Office, the Divisions and the Branches to collaborate in the development, implementation and delivery of education programs for staff, elected officers, delegates and members in the tertiary and non-tertiary sectors.
Linda Cargill Industrial Organiser Swinburne Branch Linda Cargill has been an active and committed trade unionist for 25 years, first as a workplace delegate and since 1999 as a union organiser. Until 2006, she worked for the Australian Services Union as an organiser and educator and since 2006 she has had a range of roles in the union movement and the environmental movement that have been primarily campaign focused. She has 44
developed and implemented campaigns on a range of issues – workers’ rights in the YR@W campaign, tackling stress in the workplace, the trend to insecure work and tackling climate change with the carbon price. With her broad range of experience from organising in workplaces and industries, to leading campaigns in workplaces and the community, to advocating for and educating on the need for progressive social and environmental change Linda is looking forward to building activism and campaigning on the issues of concern to NTEU members.
Susan Kenna Industrial Officer National Office Susan comes to NTEU with over 23 years experience as a union official in ‘blue’ and ‘white-collar’ unions and the ACTU. Her skills cover the breadth of union work including campaigning, advocacy, negotiation, conciliation, research and public speaking. Most recently Susan worked as a National Policy and Research Officer and National Industrial Officer with the Finance Sector Union. Susan has been an Industrial Researcher, Policy Officer, Women’s Officer and Industrial Officer during her time in the union movement, and has a particular interest in gender issues. At the FSU Susan initiated and worked on two joint gender pay equity audits with NAB, which saw the gender pay gap narrow by 8% over 6 years. Susan was also an ACTU representative on the committee which developed an Australian Standard on Gender Inclusive Job Evaluation in 2012, and was a member of ACTU Women’s, OHS and Workers’ Compensation Committees. Other interests include work value, work psychosocial hazards, pay and classification systems and discrimination law Susan holds a Masters Degree in Industrial and Employee Relations from Monash University and is looking forward to bringing her breath of experience to assisting NTEU members.
Niels Andersen Division Organiser Tasmanian Division I Niels Andersen joined the NTEU shortly after we started to accept general staff I am an active NTEU councillor and serves as Vice President (General Staff ) third term. I am an active member of the NTEU’s workplace change negotiating team. I am the NTEU representative on the UTAS reclassification panel. I am an active member and contributor to the Voice Project Steering Groups formulation and implementation of the Voice project survey and evaluation (jointly nominated by all three General staff unions at UTAS). I am the state representative to the NTEU’s national General Staff Reward and Recognition Working Party’ I was elected to NTEU National Council. I am on the NTEU staff EB team. I won the Tasmanian Organiser of the Year (2011). I’ve been in Tasmania since 1986. I have researched echidnas, and live on 5 acres (with some echidnas there, too).
Margaret Maloney Industrial Organiser Victorian Division Margaret comes to the NTEU having worked in the trade union movement for over 25 years. Margaret has worked as an Industrial Officer for various Unions - the AIMPE, ATEA/ ATPOA, the Plumbers Union (which became the CEPU following amalgamation with the ETU and CWU), the FSU and more recently the HSU East. In her capacity as an Industrial Officer Margaret has represented members on a range of industrial matters in negotiations with employers and in proceedings before industrial tribunals. One of the longest running cases that she was involved in was award restructuring in the plumbing industry which took about 7 years before the Federal Awards were varied to new include skillbased classification structures. More recently at the FSU, Margaret was involved in the somewhat depressing award modernisation process which resulted in cuts to many workNTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
YOUR UNION ers wages and conditions of employment. Margaret has also been involved in negotiating enterprise for employees in the private and public sector. Margaret looks forward to working with people across the NTEU.
Emily Struck Branch Organiser Monash Branch Originally from Canada, Emily moved to Australia to complete her Masters’ of Logistics Management at the University of Sydney. She comes to the NTEU with organising experience from TWU and United Voice. Emily is committed to both the Australian Union movement and the higher education sector. She is looking forward to working with Monash University members to improve and maintain working conditions, build activism and to campaign to increase union membership and power.
Carmel Shute Media Officer National Officer NTEU’s new media officer, Carmel Shute, is an historian by trade and taught history, politics and women’s studies at four different universities before switching to work as a union organiser at the ABC Staff Union and, following amalgamation, the Community and Public Sector Union. For the past fifteen years, she worked as a PR hack in local government. More recently, she operated her own PR business, Shute the Messenger. She helped found Hecate: A Women’s Interdisciplinary Journal and Sisters in Crime Australia, a literary society with 560+ members who’d kill for a good read. Her other passions are politics, cooking and snorkelling.
Adrienne Vella Industrial Organiser Tasmanian Division
Industrial Organiser NSW DIvision
Since 1958, the Australian Universities’ Review has been encouraging debate and discussion about issues in higher education and its contribution to Australian public life.
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NOVEMBER 2012 www.nteu.org.au
Industrial Organiser NSW Division
Shane Reside Shane has come to the NTEU from organising in the Community Sector, most substantially with migrant young people in Melbourne. He is also active in other social movement networks, particularly those engaging questions of race, incarceration and migration. He is deeply committed to being part of an organized, independent Union that can transform higher education.
Service. Ran a successful campaign against a proposed Ambulance fee – and ambulance transport is still free in Tasmania! She was also involved in the creation of the National Council of Ambulance Unions, which is now a National Union body for Ambulance. She lived through (and was unfortunately part of) award modernisation for all of the HAC Awards, which was not fun. Most recently, she has been an industrial officer for HACSU, which involved casework in the Equal Remuneration Case for Community Services. Miranda has been extremely surprised at the level of casualisation in higher education, and is hoping to reduce this at UTAS in the current round of bargaining. Miranda believes her best trait in relation to her role is that she loves fairness and hates losing, which fits in perfectly with her job description!
Miranda has taken over from Rob Binnie in the Tasmanian office. She would love to be able to waggle her eyebrows like Rob can, but sadly it is not a skill she possesses. Miranda started working for LHMU in 2002, and became an organiser at the end of that year. Worked in grievance handling until she moved to Health and Community Services Union (HACSU) in early 2007, as the organiser for the Tasmanian Ambulance
vol. 54, no. 2, 201 NTEU 2
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Australia n Unive rsities’R eview
Adrienne has recently joined the NSW Division as an Industrial Officer. Prior to this, Adrienne worked at the Australian Services Union for 4 years as both an Industrial Officer and an Organiser. After graduating from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Arts and Law, Adrienne practised law in a firm specialising in local government law. Adrienne’s background is diverse and she has spent time working as a youth worker and social justice campaigner. She is keen to work with NTEU members to advance their working conditions. A
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
National Education and Training Strategy D
uring 2013, members should be looking out for opportunities to attend new education sessions provided by the NTEU. These will not only help members understand their industrial and professional rights, but also engage members’ interest in finding out more about the sector, about unionism, about how they work and their history. The Union is particularly interested in providing skills to members who are interested in taking on a more active role in the Union – especially as a delegate. The Union has appointed two National Education and Training Officers, to redevelop a nationally coordinated education and training strategy for members, elected representatives and staff. The new National Education and Training Officers are Helena Spyrou, who commenced work with the NTEU in July 2012 and Ken McAlpine who moved from his long term role as NTEU Senior Industrial Officer to this new role in September. The first activity of the new Education and Training function was to undertake an audit of the Union’s existing resources and to con-
duct a Learning Needs Analysis (LNA) which began in September 2012. The first component of the LNA was a survey of core elected representatives and staff exploring their own learning needs and their views on the learning needs of the organisation. The framework of the Education and Training Program will be decided by the National Executive at its November meeting. This will in part be informed by the outcomes of the survey and discussions with NTEU Divisions, Branches and committees such as the Indigenous Policy Committee and the Women’s Action Committee. The plan will be implemented in conjunction with NTEU Divisions and Branches. The content for the curriculum will be developed during 2013 and a full roll out will occur in 2014.
NTEU ONLINE MEMBERSHIP DATABASE Update your details: In order for NTEU to keep you in touch, it is important we have your latest details.
The education and skills development program will also focus on continuing to build strong and active Branch structures and delegate networks. The program will also focus on developing the knowledge and skills of Branch Organisers, Branch Industrial Organisers and the Branch Committees working towards a coordinated strategy for each Branch and across all Branches. The Training and Education staff in the National Office are interested in hearing directly from members about what you would like to see in our Education and Training Program as it develops. A Helena Spyrou, firstname.lastname@example.org Ken McAlpine, email@example.com
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. 3
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
CITY/SUBURB PHONE |WORK INCL AREA CODE
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
YOUR EMPLOYMENT gROUP
TEACHING & RESEARCH
I hereby apply for membership of NTEU, any Branch and any associated body‡ established at my workplace. SIGNATURE
YOUR EMPLOYMENT CATEgORY AND TERM
CONTINUINg/ fIxED TERM PERMANENT
HoUrS PEr WK
DATE oF ExPIrY
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
Membership fees = 1% of gross annual salary
OPTION 1: PAYROLL DEDUCTION AUTHORITY
office use only: % of salary deducted
I INSErT YoUr NAME
| STAff PAYROLL NO.
Of YoUr ADDrESS HEREBY AUTHORISE INSTITUTIoN
OPTION 2: CREDIT CARD
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
OPTION 3: DIRECT DEBIT
QUARTERLY HALf-YEARLY ANNUALLY
$10,000 & under: $10,001–$20,000: Over $20,000:
$27.50 $38.50 $55
$55 $77 $110
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:
BRANCH NAME & ADDRESS
MONTHLY QUARTERLY HALf-YEARLY ANNUALLY
5% DIsCOUNT fOR ANNUAL DIRECT DEBIT
CARD NUMBER — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Processed on the 15th of the month or following working day
I INSErT YoUr NAME
Choose your salary range. Select 6 month or 1 year membership. Tick the appropriate box. Pay by cheque, money order or credit card.
NAME ON CARD
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.
OPTION 4: CAsUAL/sEssIONAL ONLY 1. 2. 3. 4.
Processed on the 16th of the month or following working day
NAME ON CARD CARD NO.
|MAIL/ BLDG CODE MONTH NExT | INCREMENT DUE
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
PO Box 1323, South Melbourne, VIC 3205 (03) 9254 1910 (03) 9254 1915 email@example.com www.nteu.org.au
1st Fl, 120 Clarendon St, Southbank, VIC 3006
PO Box 3114, Broadway LPO Nedlands, WA 6009 (08) 6365 4188 (08) 9354 1629 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nteu.org.au/wa
PO Box U371, CDU, Darwin, NT 0815 (08) 8946 7231 (08) 8927 9410 email@example.com www.nteu.org.au/nt
4 Briggs Street, Taringa, QLD 4068 (07) 3362 8200 (07) 3371 7817 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nteu.org.au/qld
Ground Floor, Palais Apartment Complex, 281 North Tce, Adelaide SA 5000 (08) 8227 2384 (08) 8227 0997 email@example.com www.nteu.org.au/sa
Level 1, 55 Holt St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010 (02) 8066 6600 (02) 8066 6677 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nteu.org.au/nsw
NATIONAL OFFICE STAFF
Coordinator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . National Industrial Officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Industrial Support Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sarah Roberts Wayne Cupido, Susan Kenna, Elizabeth McGrath Miin Yeo
ACT Division G Block, Old Admin Area, McDonald Place, ANU, Acton, ACT 0200 (02) 6125 2043 ANU/ADFA/ACU (02) 6201 5355 UC (02) 6125 8137 email@example.com www.nteu.org.au/act
1st Fl, 120 Clarendon St, Southbank, VIC 3006 (03) 9254 1930 (03) 9254 1935 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nteu.org.au/vic
Policy & Research Unit
Policy & Research Coordinator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paul Kniest Policy & Research Officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terri MacDonald, Jen Tsen Kwok
Indigenous Unit Indigenous Coordinator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Adam Frogley Indigenous Organiser. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Celeste Liddle
Private Bag 101, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7001 (03) 6226 7575 (03) 6226 2172 email@example.com www.nteu.org.au/tasmania
Training, Organising, Media & Publications Unit National Organiser. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Media Officer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . National Publications Coordinator. . . . . . . . . . . . . Education & Training Officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Michael Evans Carmel Shute Paul Clifton Ken McAlpine, Helena Spyrou
Finance Unit Coordinator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Senior Finance Officer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Finance Officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Jenny Savage Gracia Ho Sonia Uthuppu, Alex Ghvaladze, Daphne Zhang, Tamara Labadze, Lee Powell
Management & Administration Unit Executive Manager. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Executive Officer (General Secretary) . . . . . . . . . . Executive Officer (Admin) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Executive Officer (Resources). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Executive Officer (Membership & Campaigns). . Membership Officer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ICT Network Engineer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ICT Database Analyst/Programmer . . . . . . . . . . . . Finance Officer- Payroll. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reception . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Peter Summers Anastasia Kotaidis Tracey Coster Renee Veal Julie Ann Veal Melinda Valsorda Tam Vuong Deric Mak Jo Riley Leanne Foote
NATIONAL EXECUTIVE National President...................................... Jeannie Rea Vice-President (Academic)........................ Kelvin Michael Tas Div Vice-President (General)............................ Lynda Davies Griffith General Secretary........................................ Grahame McCulloch National Assistant Secretary.................... Matthew McGowan Executive Members Andrew Bonnell UQ Stephen Darwin ACT Div Ryan Hsu Swinburne John Kenny Tas Div Colin Long Vic Div Kevin Rouse SA Div Jan Sinclair-Jones Curtin Michael Thomson Sydney
Linda Cecere Adelaide Gabe Gooding WA Div Genevieve Kelly NSW Div Margaret Lee Qld Div Virginia Mansel Lees La Trobe John Sinclair ACU Melissa Slee RMIT Lolita Wikander NT Div
Indigenous Executive Member................. Terry Mason UWS
NTEU ADVOCATE vol. 19, no. 3
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