Sydney Uni NTEU members vote for industrial action

Issue 

The on February 19.

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National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members at the University of Sydney have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action over their claims for a new Enterprise Agreement.

The ballot for protected industrial action was counted and declared on Friday afternoon. Over 1000 members voted.

More than 900 members voted in support of one-hour and 24-hour stoppages. Almost 800 members voted for indefinite stoppages.

Michael Thomson, NTEU branch president at the University of Sydney, said the ballot shows how angry university staff are at the university management's arrogance and lack of real engagement with the enterprise bargaining process.

“University of Sydney management is offering less job security and wants to reduce sick leave entitlements and cut academic workload provisions. Management is refusing to limit the numbers of academic casuals and is trying to wind back provisions for fixed-term staff to convert to ongoing positions.

“Staff are still bruised from last year’s job cuts and are angry at the lack of progress with the enterprise bargaining negotiations. Enough is enough."

University of Sydney management also proposes to remove classification protections for general staff and intellectual freedom provisions. NTEU lodged its Log of Claims for a new Enterprise Agreement on August 7 last year, with management agreeing to only nine meetings in six months.

Thomson said that university staff are campaigning for an agreement that improves the career prospects of general staff and academics in their early career.

“This result allows the branch to take the next step in our industrial campaign. At our members' meeting on February 27 we will be deciding what industrial action we will be taking and when we take it.”