Messages to students from senior staff

Next week's industrial action cancelled

2 October 2013

As you may be aware, the University has been involved in ongoing negotiations with the unions regarding the proposed new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement for staff.

Yesterday the NTEU membership agreed to accept the University’s proposed Enterprise Agreement. This agreement will ensure University of Sydney staff remain the highest paid of any university in Australia and continue to enjoy the best working conditions in the sector.

The NTEU has advised that the industrial action planned for three days of next week will not take place, and all classes will go ahead as scheduled.

We appreciate your patience during these protracted negotiations.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Michael Spence
Vice-Chancellor


Industrial action on Wednesday 5 June

5 June 2013

The NTEU and CPSU have given notice that their members will be taking further strike action beginning at midnight on Wednesday 5 June.

I know this will frustrate many of you, but wanted to reassure you that we have made progress towards agreeing a new enterprise agreement with the staff unions in recent weeks, and that the University is working hard to reach a resolution that will bring to an end activities impacting on your learning and enjoyment of university life.

One of the major issues still under discussion relates to staff salary rises under the next enterprise agreement. We are disappointed that the external environment means the University cannot do more to reward staff financially for their hard work. But, as we have explained to the staff unions, recently announced cuts to government funding for universities have restricted even further what the University can do to fund pay rises without having to take significant cost-cutting action that would seriously undermine our commitment to provide teaching and research of the highest quality now and in the future. Such cuts would inevitably have a negative impact on staff in other ways.

In terms of this week’s planned industrial action, the University has once again asked any staff who are intending to strike to let you know in advance if they will not be teaching, so please check your email and Blackboard for any further information.

Most classes will go ahead as scheduled on Wednesday and you should expect to attend class as normal. No student will be penalised if their class does not take place or if they are unable to attend their class. If your class is cancelled and you feel that you have been disadvantaged as a result, you should contact the appropriate faculty office for information about how to address any practical consequences. The unions have said that there will be picket lines at all main entrances to campus on Wednesday morning, which may delay your arrival to your classes.

Sadly, at the strike last month some demonstrators again tried to physically prevent people and vehicles from entering campus. These demonstrators are breaching the unions’ own “picket line protocol” which instructs picketers not to threaten, intimidate or physically prevent people from entering University buildings. We suggest that you stop, listen and then, if you wish, politely proceed to enter the campus. Campus Security will have staff at all picket points. Police have indicated they will be present on the day, principally in view of the number of non-staff demonstrators who have been attaching themselves to the picket lines for their own purposes.

We will provide any further information that may help you plan your day via the ‘important messages’ section of MyUni, as well as the University’s Facebook page and Twitter account (@Sydney_Uni). We may also send a text message to your mobile number if we need you to have immediate notification of any updates.

Thank you again for your cooperation in ensuring the day runs smoothly despite the inevitable disruptions. We do hope to reach a resolution soon.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Derrick Armstrong
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)


Industrial action on Tuesday 14 May

9 May 2013

The NTEU and CPSU have given notice that their members will be taking further strike action beginning at midnight on Tuesday 14 May.

Although the University continues to negotiate, the unions have not amended their position even in the face of recent government funding cuts. In any case, it should be noted that this is only one of 14 strikes at Australian universities nationwide, planned by the NTEU.

The University has once again asked any staff who are intending to strike to let you know in advance if they will not be teaching, so please check your email and Blackboard for any further information.

Most classes will go ahead as scheduled on Tuesday and you should expect to attend class as normal. As a guide, on the first day of the last strike fewer than 800 of our 7000 staff members have indicated that they were on strike and just over 100 for the second day.

No student will be penalised if their class does not take place or if they are unable to attend their class. If your class is cancelled and you feel that you have been disadvantaged as a result, you should contact the appropriate faculty office for information about how to address any practical consequences.

The unions have said that there will be picket lines at all main entrances to campus from 7am on Tuesday morning, which may delay your arrival to your classes. You may be aware that some students and staff entering the campus were, unfortunately, jostled and verbally abused on thepicket lines during previous industrial actions.

The NTEU has a “picket line protocol” which instructs picketers not to threaten, intimidate or physically prevent people from entering University buildings. We suggest that you stop, listen and then, if you wish, politely proceed to enter the campus. Campus Security will have staff at all picket points. Police have indicated they will be present on the day, principally in view of the number of non-staff demonstrators who have been attaching themselves to the picket lines for their own purposes.

We will provide any further information that may help you plan your day via the ‘important messages’ section of MyUni, as well as the University’s Facebook page and Twitter account (@Sydney_Uni). We may also send a text message to your mobile number if we need you to have immediate notification of any updates.

Thank you again for your cooperation in ensuring the day runs smoothly despite the inevitable disruptions.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Derrick Armstrong
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)