Their teaching conditions are our learning conditions.

We rarely think about the welfare and working environment of our teachers and staff—but right now, those who are responsible for our education are under attack from senior management in the university.

The union responsible for representing your teachers and staff—the National Tertiary Education Union—are taking strike action, after over a year of negotiations over pay and working conditions with University management that haven’t really gone anywhere.

The process of negotiating over these types of employment issues usually results in the creation of a contract called an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, which outlines everything from pay rises for staff to how much they have to work in a given week. The failure of the University and the NTEU to come to an agreement on these things is due largely to a number of worrying initiatives from the University, including an elimination of current staff-to-student ratios, which will result in class sizes increasing and less face-to-face time with your teachers, and a refusal to commit to intellectual freedom, something that removes the current protections for academics and other staff who wish to criticise the University (and believe us, there’s plenty to criticise).

The NTEU’s most recent strike took place on May 9th, from 9am-1pm. Instead of going to classes in that time, we linked up with NTEU members and marched to the Change the Rules rally at Trades Hall in Carlton—this was our opportunity to show support for our teachers and let them know that we stand behind them.

Facebook event here.

We’ll be continuing to send out updates on our Facebook page and on this section of our website here. If you want more information, feel free to shoot an email to education@union.unimelb.edu.au—we’ll endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.