David (dissembly) wrote,

According to a Monash Uni e-mail:

"You may be aware the NTEU has called for a 24 hour strike on Thursday, 21 May 2009 at all Victorian campuses of the University.

Employers (including Monash University) are prohibited from making a payment to an employee engaging in industrial action (section 507 of the Workplace Relations Act).

Very matter-of-fact, fairly depressing comment on this country's lawmakers.

The Melbourne Uni e-mails are, predictably (for Melbourne Uni), fairly slimy; with students being told by the University administration how much it deeply regrets what these heartless unionists are doing in compromising their education by taking strike action. I'm paraphrasing, as i don't have the e-mail handy.

There is no mention of the issues relating to the strike, in either e-mail (but see below*), and no mention by the respective University admins of what they will be doing to support the strikers demands. Presumably, they'll be doing nothing.

After all, they are part of the problem.

Edited to add:

*A seperate e-mail sent out by Monash University's Peter Marshall (listed as "Vice-President (Administration)") did cover the main reason for the strike:

The strike action has been called by the NTEU in support of a new
enterprise bargaining agreement for academic and general staff of the
University. The strike is protected industrial action under the
provisions of the Workplace Relations Act 1996, and is a legitimate form
of industrial action available to the NTEU in support of its enterprise
bargaining claims.

This e-mail wasn't sent out to post-grads as far as i can ascertain (i didn't recieve it), but was sent out to undergrads. It's heartening that Mr Marshall saw fit to point out the legal legitimacy to the strike.

When you start talking about legal legitimacy, though, you have to get past ones befuddlement at the concept of a "legal" versus an "illegal" strike action. I know that in some circumstances (possibly all, but i havent done the research to back that up), it's actually only considered "legal" to strike in relation to an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement. Which would explain the NTEU's leadership being out of step with the membership - they're concerned with "legal" strike subjects, whereas the membership are concerned with many more issues related to the running of a university.
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