Deputy Vice Chancellor Annamarie Jagose sent an email today to all staff members of the University of Sydney warning them of the rules required around industrial action. The email is in relation to the upcoming staff strikes, planned for 11 and 12 May.
“Given that we have fortnightly meetings scheduled through until July… we are disappointed that the NTEU has chosen to take this premature action,” the email reads.
Honi understands that throughout the negotiation process, the University has chosen not to engage in a number of the requests made in the NTEU’s log of claims.
Jagose also made it clear that any staff who are not members of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) will not be permitted to strike.
She also requested that NTEU members participating in the strikes notify the University of their absence.
Under the Fair Work Act, it is unlawful for striking staff to be paid for the period of an industrial action. However, individual staff members are under no legal obligation to inform an employer of an intention to strike, contrary to what Jagose’s email may suggest.
USyd SRC Education Officer Deaglan Godwin called the email “outrageous” and emphasised the importance of students supporting staff throughout the industrial action period.
“This email is nothing but blatant intimidation by university management,” Godwin said. “They are attempting to pressure staff who may be striking for the first time or don’t know all the rules, to provide them with information they’ll use to help break the strike.
“Against this misinformation offensive, students should do everything they can to demonstrate how much staff can count on our support. Email your lecturers and tutors, put up posters for the strike, click ‘going’ on the student contingent facebook events.”
The strikes will take place on the 11 and 12 May, and will involve a picket line