Union members at the University of Melbourne have condemned the announcement of plans to slash jobs at the University. The announcement includes plans to reduce total staff by 220 positions restrict the renewal of fixed-term contract staff and a voluntary redundancy program to shed 100 permanent staff.
The announced job cuts come on top of restructuring in every faculty, school, department and unit at the University, and significant resultant job losses over the past two years.
“What is the urgency? The budget is projected to be in surplus at the end of this year.” said Ted Clark, President of the University of Melbourne Branch of the NTEU. “Staff and students are coping with the major upheaval caused by the recent restructuring of programs under the ‘Melbourne Model‘ and now management are threatening a further slash and burn.”
“The Union is deeply concerned by this new style of corporate governance. The destruction of collegial decision making leaves the University workforce stressed and living in the dark when it comes to decision making.”
“Staff feel betrayed by this announcement. After working tirelessly to introduce the Melbourne Model the only reward appears to be more job cuts.”
Staff went on strike for four hours on Tuesday afternoon and are planning further protest action at the university’s open day on Sunday, followed by another four hour strike 3 September and a 24 hour strike on 16 September.
TEU National President Tom Ryan has written to NTEU members at Melbourne University wishing them well for their actions and negotiations.
“Please pass on our very best wishes to all NTEU members at Melbourne University.” It is disturbing and unfair that your university would rather cut jobs than invest in opportunities for students to learn the knowledge and skills they need.” said Dr Ryan.