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Open letter to temporarily close down in-person Student Centre desks successful

Management did not initially respond to staff's concerns.

Despite mounting lockdown restrictions, the University of Sydney Student Centre insisted on keeping a portion of in-person counters open.

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) raised concerns regarding the health risk posed to students and staff , but these were initially dismissed by the Centre. According to an e-bulletin published by the NTEU, “Staff had been asking management to shut the counters, with no response.”

NTEU members then penned an open letter directed to Student Centre management regarding their concerns, bearing signatures from both University academic staff and Student Centre employees. The next day, the NTEU’s demands were fulfilled and all Student Centre in-person help desks were closed.

SRC Education Officer Maddie Clark said, “The student centre not closing its desks during Sydney’s highest daily cases and outbreak is another example of how the university does not value its staff or students. It continually prioritises profits, even over our safety.”

“The NTEU’s successful action of closing the desks shows that it is unions and staff members themselves that are the ones who care about safety and the spread of COVID-19.”

The NTEU did not respond in time for publication when asked for comment.

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