Staff at the University of Newcastle will walk off the job at Callaghan from 12.30pm Wednesday after unanimously agreeing to take action over enterprise agreement negotiations, which the staff union has said are at a standstill.
Staff are seeking to negotiate agreements without diminution of existing conditions, and measures to transition employees into more secure employment.
The union’s Newcastle branch president, Associate Professor Tom Griffiths, estimated around 150 staff attended a 90-minute stop-work meeting earlier in August, where it was agreed staff would walk off the job.
Professor Griffiths said he expected a strong showing of support from staff, and members of the University's students associations on Wednesday.
“Staff working conditions are student learning conditions and the Newcastle University Students’ Association stands in solidarity with University staff,' Association president, Christy Mullen said.
“Newcastle University Postgraduate Students Association supports staff – many postgraduate students are also casual staff – and hopes that fair agreement between staff and management can be achieved soon," President Ash McIntyre said.
Dr Deb Hartman, a union member and Senior Lecturer with the University’s Faculty of Health and Medicine, said staff were frustrated at negotiations indicating a reduction in conditions and protections for employees, and increased reliance on casual and contract staff.
"Our members are increasingly angry at management’s approach to bargaining, and their attack on established and comprehensive provisions in our current Agreements," Professor Griffiths said.
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