Western Sydney University staff to strike

Western Sydney University Kingswood campus. Picture: Rob Homer
Western Sydney University Kingswood campus. Picture: Rob Homer

Staff at Western Sydney University’s Campbelltown, Hawkesbury, Kingswood and Bankstown campuses will walk off the job for four hours tomorrow in protest of “rampant casualisation” and “precarious employment”.

University employees who are also members of the National Tertiary Education Union will down tools at 9am and will gather at the Parramatta campus for a rally at 10am.

NTEU WSU branch president David Burchell said many staff feared for their future employment.

“Western Sydney University is in a state of turmoil, anxiety and distress,” he said.

“Hundreds of professional staff are being required to attend interviews to secure jobs in the ‘new structure’, often at lower classification levels.

“Many staff may well end their careers in a more junior position than they had when they arrived.

“After more than six months of negotiations and with agreement seemingly in view, management have instituted a go-slow in bargaining.

“Ignoring repeated joint requests by the unions, they are refusing to meet until November.

“Many cannot find appropriate jobs right now. And with the Christmas season approaching, senior management seem entirely impervious to the damage they are causing.

“We need them to hear our members’ anger and concerns as a matter of urgency.

“In the current round of enterprise bargaining Western Sydney (University) management have told us they are no longer interested in restricting the spread of casual labour.

“Casualisation, they tell us, is here to stay. Casualisation is a threat to job security and a plague on higher education. Casuals are underpaid, have no career path, and no predictable income.”