Macquarie Uni NTEU staff strike, picket


Members of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at Macquarie University held a strike and picket on March 11 as part of their campaign to win a fair enterprise agreement and a quick resolution to bargaining.

Union members picketed the main entrances to the university and distributed leaflets to students and staff explaining the reasons for the strike.

The leaflet read: "Members of the NTEU, the union representing Macquarie University staff, have been trying to negotiate a new Enterprise Agreement since July 2013. Bargaining for the academic staff agreement has been under way for eight months, but negotiations have now reached an impasse due to management's offer of below-CPI pay rises in 2015-16, refusal to commit to reduction of casualization, continued exploitation of fixed-term contracts, Reluctance to ensure fair and reasonable workloads, attacks on procedures that support academic freedom and failure to ensure equitable superannuation.

"Quality education relies on quality staff who are fairly paid and who are supported in their work. We all have to act now — in the best interests of the university — to ensure future students receive the same quality of education."

Cathy Rytmeister, NTEU Macquarie University branch president, told the strikers: "We should be giving our excellent casual staff a proper, full-time job. We need our workloads controlled.

"The university needs to employ more academics and look after early career staff and casuals. Pay is an issue, but not the main one.

"We will continue to campaign until we win a fair agreement," she said.

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