Australian Greens Education Spokesperson, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, has called on the Federal Government to reverse its funding freeze for universities. Reports today reveal that Victoria University is pressuring employees to accept longer hours. Before joining politics, Senator Faruqi was an academic at the University of New South Wales.
Senator Faruqi said:
“The proposed erosion of staff working conditions at Victoria University is symptomatic of the Government’s disregard of the needs of the higher education sector.
“The Coalition’s funding freeze has limited enrolment opportunities for students wanting to go to uni and placed staff under extreme pressure to deliver research and teaching with fewer resources.
“University staff are being undermined by a deliberate strategy of casualisation, poorer working conditions and contract work.
“It is unconscionable that staff are being asked to work longer hours and compromise their conditions because the Federal Government refuses to fund universities properly. Cuts from successive Coalition and Labor government have damaged the sector and reduced the bargaining power of staff.
“Victoria University shouldn’t be using the pressure of funding cuts as a lever to pressure staff and lock unions out of decision making.
“University staff deserve better than funding-induced pressures and insecure employment. And the university sector deserves better than budget cuts and uncertainty. The Federal Government need to lift the freeze immediately,” she concluded.