Academics seek 2000 jobs

HIGHER ED - Jeannie Rea, new National President
of the NTEU.
THE National Tertiary Education Union has fired the first shot in the enterprise bargain negotiations to occur at universities across the country in the coming 12 months.

The union will push for a 7 per cent a year pay rise for four years at all universities "to compensate for cost of living increases, productivity gains and to maintain domestic and international competitiveness".

In a significant move in the debate over creating teaching-only academics, the union calls for the creation of 2000 new permanent positions "to substantially and permanently reduce" the "unacceptably high level of casual academic employment".

According to the NTEU, this will create permanent positions for 20 per cent of casually employed university teachers who now do half the teaching across universities but have no paid research time.

"We want to provide opportunities for career advancement for younger academics locked out of the system," NTEU federal president Jeannie Rae said after a weekend strategy forum.

Executive director of the Australia Higher Education Industrial Association Stuart Andrews said the 7 per cent claim was "ridiculously high . . . If the NTEU is serious about its desire to protect jobs and create opportunities for casual staff to gain more secure employment, it needs to abandon its high pay demands". He said other union policies hindered employment opportunities for casual staff.


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