University of Sydney academics are on strike over pay and working conditions
When it came to the disagreement over the 40/40/20 rule, university officials changed their original plans in their latest bid last month, saying they would protect the 40 percent research allocation unless the staffer agreed to one change to. while it could also change the 20 percent management time allocation.
The bid states: “However, to ensure some flexibility and fairer overall allocations when staff are not on approved duty [administration] Activities that support their 20 percent allocation of services, we suggest that up to 10 percent of these may be allocated for additional teaching or research, after consultation with the staff member.”
A spokeswoman for the University of Sydney said on Wednesday that its latest offer of a pay rise was above pay rises in the public and private sectors.
But the union said when 15.4 per cent was spread over five years – the period when the old contract expired in 2021 and a new one was due to start in 2026 – the increase was just 3.3 per cent a year and well below inflation.
“To find out whether management has made a fair offer or not, we have to consider what our salary looks like over the entire period from the end of the last agreement to the end of the next,” says the union’s correspondence with members in the last month .
It claimed the salary offer was well below last year’s inflation rate of 7.8 per cent and lower than other offers recently agreed to by staff at the University of Technology Sydney, Western Sydney University and the Australian Catholic University.
Sydney University, which had 74,000 undergraduate enrollments and employed more than 3,000 academic staff in 2021, posted a surplus of more than $1 billion last year.
“The university is incredibly rich,” said Dr. Nick Riemer, Sydney University Union President.
He said the staff-to-student ratio has risen from 15 to 20 students per academic after the university laid off staff during the pandemic.
“Staff productivity has skyrocketed … we think these factors — the wealth of the institution and the significant gains in productivity — are more than sufficient justification for a pay rise.”
A university spokeswoman said the campus will remain open Thursday, but staff have been told to use Zoom if they can.
“The vast majority of staff will not be on strike and the vast majority of classes will be held as planned,” she said. “We are also working closely with unions to ensure the protected strike action is conducted safely and that any form of bullying or harassment, whether on campus or online, will not be tolerated.”
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https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/this-is-the-hill-we-will-die-on-sydney-uni-academics-go-on-strike-20230308-p5cqjy.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw University of Sydney academics are on strike over pay and working conditions