Fair Work Australia decided last week that by introducing the new behaviour requirements, RMIT had not breached its working agreement with employees. The National Tertiary Education Union has appealed the decision, but a hearing date has yet to be set. So far, the reaction of NTEU national officials has been to bend both lines of attack – to accept that Morrison will not provide COVID-19 funding and that vice-chancellors could incite staff to consent to major attacks on their jobs, salaries and conditions. The objective of the NTEU National Executive was to mitigate these attacks by negotiating with universities a temporary framework for job protection in order to vary collective agreements. Jobs are not saved by the intriment of the soil. Hundreds of activists and new NTEU members debate on Zoom how to get into action. Some left-wing activists argue that the resistance should focus exclusively on the outcome of the „no“ vote on each campus when voting on alternative agreements. RMIT branches Melbourne, La Trobe, Flinders, Sydney, Victoria University, Sunshine Coast and Monash voted overwhelmingly to reject concessions that would lead to cuts in jobs, wages or conditions. Many of them are now calling for collective action – participating in Den Karakakaden on May 1 and organizing a day of national militant action next month. The Morrison government has opened a crucial second front – it is giving a big stick to the vice-chancellors to attack wages and conditions in collective agreements. University officials can now impose changes to agreements within 24 hours by voting on emergency personnel.

Second, construction actions such as convoy membership on May 1 and a national day of action are set aside – collective activities that effectively build members` confidence to vote „no“ when vice-chancellors try to impose a staff vote. And that means waiting only for a vote or, in the best case, the bank by phone. Staff have until April 13 to sign the framework. They are due to start negotiations for a new collective agreement with the university in July. Universities are increasingly dynamic in taking collective action to defend our jobs and conditions. Last month, more than a thousand casual workers were laid off — 200 at RMIT, the University of Melbourne and La Trobe, and similar figures at many of the other 39 universities. Unions across the country are calling on our national and government officials to move forward and take serious national action to pressure Morrison to fund COVID-19 deficits. The government is hitting quarter-a million workers in the sector two fronts.

Somogyi denied that the framework would limit the work of academics. He said academics were free to follow their subject matter and promote their results. UNSW, University of Technology Sydney, La Trobe University, Melbourne University, University of Sydney and RMIT Branches support these positive and concrete ways to build union strength by increasing public and industrial pressure on Morrison to fill deficits. The union`s senior industry official, Linda Gale, said the framework contained vague and inappropriate expectations. . . .

Categories: Allgemein