Education

Labor Opposition leader Bill Shorten delivered his budget reply speech on May 10, promising to deliver a “bigger, better and fairer tax cut for 10 million working Australians”.

Staff and employers of the Murdoch University Student Guild have reached an in-principle agreement in the latest round of bargaining after four weeks of negotiations.

Despite the short time frame, the negotiation team for the workers, which constituted an NTEU Industrial Officer and two Murdoch Guild staff members, were able to keep members in the loop throughout the entire process.

Staff and student rally against the cuts.

Staff and students at James Cook University (JCU) in Townsville and Cairns have refused to accept course and job cuts proposed by the university’s management.

The highlight of the campaign was a 120-strong student-led rally on April 30 at the Cairns campus, the largest student protest action in more than a decade at JCU. Students also joined the community protests called by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) branch on April 27.

Universities are big business and critical to the health of Australian capitalism.

University education added $140 billion to the Australian economy in 2014. According to Universities Australia, 1.3 million Australian and international students were enrolled in Australian universities in 2016.

“I’ve been listening, and I’ve been impressed. But the winners today are the teachers in the state of Arizona.”

These are the words of Arizona’s Republican Governor Doug Ducey at an April 12 press conference in the state Capitol building in Phoenix. He had just announced a funding plan that he claims will raise Arizona teachers’ pay by 20% by 2020 and raise education funding by US$371 million by 2023.

Strikes, protests and occupations are breaking out everywhere. Sam Wainwright writes that resistance to French president Emmanuel Macron’s austerity plans is gathering pace and its development will determine the future of the country.

Macron and his big business patrons complain that France has failed to “modernise” like Britain did during Margaret Thatcher’s reign. A key turning point that explains why the French working class has been able to slow this process was the huge social movement and strike wave of 1995, in which millions of people took to the streets. 

Ever since his unexpected rise to British Labour Party leader, veteran socialist MP Jeremy Corbyn has faced sustained attacks and smears from the media, Tories and the right-wing of his own party. But over the past month, the attacks have become an unprecedented avalanche.

Oklahoma teachers proudly marked themselves absent from school since April 1, Michelle Chen writes at In These Times on April 5, and they had an excellent excuse: They made themselves present in politics instead, with a historic march on the Capitol in hopes of finally capturing the legislature’s undivided attention

The Victorian Socialists released this statement on the Batman byelection on March 18.

* * *

The Labor Party has managed to retain the seat of Batman, by offering a progressive and competent candidate in Ged Kearney, after years of imposing the right-wing powerbroker David Feeney on the electorate, as part of factional deals.

 

Anna Hush is a former Women’s Officer at Sydney University. She has worked with End Rape on Campus Australia, and with journalist and advocate Nina Funnell she co-authored The Red Zone Report, which was released last month. This is an abridged version of a talk she gave at Sydney University at the Women’s Legal Service Feminist Legal Perspectives Seminar on March 7.

* * *

In what has proven to be the largest industrial action in the higher education sector in recent history, the University and College Union (UCU) launched the first day of strike action across Britain on February 22.

Striking against planned cuts to the pension schemes of academic staff, staff and students took collective action on 61 different universities across the country.

About 20 people attended the launch on February 15 of a campaign aimed at countering the "law and order race to the bottom" in the lead-up to Victoria's state election in November.

The "Stop failing our kids" campaign, initiated by the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA), aims to get thousands of people to send postcards to Victorian Labor Premier Daniel Andrews.

Angered by the latest round of cuts, staff at Victoria University (VU) held a protest outside a university council meeting on November 2.

National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) national president Jeannie Rea told protesters she had worked at VU for 20 years. She said that more than 100 people have lost their jobs at VU this year, with another round of redundancies still to come.

A new report, entitled Don’t send me that pic, has reaffirmed what most women and girls already knew: sexual abuse and harassment are incessant, it starts young and it is on the rise.

Commissioned by Plan Australia and Our Watch, the survey collected responses from 600 girls and young women aged 15–19 across Australia.

More than 200 staff and students rallied outside the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) after staff took protected strike action on October 19.

Vince Caughley, UTS Branch President of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) told Green Left Weekly: “The major aim of our industrial action was to send a message to UTS management to respond to our claims. The NTEU has been bargaining for six months and as yet no senior management figures have come to negotiate with us.

Martin Rorke gave this speech at a speakout for marriage equality at Sydney University on October 11.

* * *

I am a member of staff here at the University of Sydney and I support same sex marriage. I am also a member of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) and I'm proud that my union is fully behind the Yes campaign. 

Pages

Subscribe to Education