Why I’m striking #UnimelbStrikes

Secure jobs as the norm not the exception

I currently have a part-time contract at the University of Melbourne in a non-academic, communications role. I feel that my work is valued and that I am supported by my unit and my managers. Nevertheless, I'm on strike. Why?

Firstly, solidarity! The local branch of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) is on strike all this week.((Supposedly the longest strike at the University since the stonemasons building the place downed tools in 1856 and won an eight-hour workday. Where's a historian when you need one?)) The key demands are set out on UniMelb EBA Now:

So, as a union member I'm supporting my comrades by going out on strike with them.

Secondly, structure! Employment conditions across the tertiary education sector in Australia are terrible – I doubt there's a single university in this country which would rate as a good employer on all of the above criteria. From the chronic underpayment of, or rather wage theft from, casual academic staff to the current plans at ACU to gut the humanities, higher education is not a great place to work in these days. Okay, maybe it never was, but it can be better than it is. And that's going to take workers standing up for their rights.

PS: join your union!

Image source: UniMelb EBA Now.

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