UTS staff to strike

Action: Staff at UTS strike over pay and conditions outside UTS Broadway on May 21 this year. A second strike is on August 20. Picture: Nick Moir

Action: Staff at UTS strike over pay and conditions outside UTS Broadway on May 21 this year. A second strike is on August 20. Picture: Nick Moir

Academic staff at The University of Technology, Sydney will strike from 8am tomorrow over proposed conditions in their new enterprise agreement.

The 24 hour strikes comes less than a month after the university appointed new vice chancellor Attila Brungs. Agreement negotiations began 12 months ago.

The National Tertiary Education Union’s UTS acting branch president, Vince Caughley, said university management had tried to marginalise the union’s role on campus while the changeover in leadership occurred.

He said in the past year about $3 million in savings in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences were sought, and led to the loss of more than 17 academic positions and downgraded roles in other parts of the university.

‘‘‘In an uncertain policy and budgetary environment like we’re in now, it’s easier for management to suppress dissent because staff become fearful about job cuts,’’ Mr Caughley said.

‘‘What they put on the table reduces protections in the Agreement, so staff will have to individually negotiate their rights and entitlements with their managers and supervisor.

‘‘When supervisors and managers have KPIs based on cutting costs, what chance do staff have in individual negotiations?’’

Mr Caughley said the union had sought a meeting with Professor Brungs and that ensuring fair academic workloads and fair pay for casual academics were on the agenda.

Members will rally from 12.30pm outside the UTS Tower on Wednesday, August 20.

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