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La Trobe University staff vote for industrial action

La Trobe University

NTEU members at La Trobe University voted to endorse industrial action across the university’s campuses.

Staff will strike on Wednesday, 26th March following the breakdown of negotiations over a new Enterprise Agreement and the recent announcement of over 350 jobs being cut from the University.

It will be the first time there is a 48 hour strike at the University run by the NTEU.

It is understood that the La Trobe Vice Chancellor John Dewar intends to increase the number of students studying at the University at the same time as sacking hundreds of staff. Student numbers have increased by 1,300 in this year alone.

This has raised concerns among NTEU members that staff will increasingly be overworked and underpaid, and that the quality of research and teaching could be affected.

“How can it be an improvement to the University to have more students and less staff?” asked Virginia Mansel Lees, NTEU La Trobe Branch President.

“Class sizes keep getting bigger and staff workloads are getting out of control.

“These issues have huge impacts on the research output of our academic members and the quality of education the University is able to provide.

“Casualisation also impacts on the ability of our members to enjoy job security as well as the things that rely on it, such as being able to take out a mortgage, and peace of mind in mapping out a career.

“University management must outline how they will protect staff against further cuts, spiralling workloads and career security,” she said.

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