University of Queensland staff are due to strike for 24 hours on Tuesday, saying the uni is falling behind most other institutions in wages.
Staff at the University of Queensland will strike on Tuesday in protest at their “casualisation” and worsening conditions.
National Tertiary Education Union members will walk off the job for 24 hours, accusing the university of languishing behind others on pay standards, workloads and indigenous employment.
The union’s UQ representative associate professor Andrew Bonnell says while the university is in the top three in Australia on most indicators, it ranks 23rd for pay.
Fulltime teaching staff have plunged since 2012, while the number of students have risen 20 per cent over five years.
And those taken on are being forced to endure insecure employment, Professor Bonnell said.
About 50 per cent of undergraduate teaching is now performed by casuals paid by the hour.
“The anxiety and uncertainty this causes for staff is unacceptable,” he said.
“We hope that the university will finally come to the table on these issues.”
UQ said negotiations are close to being finalised on most issues and the union may be overstating concerns.
Out of about 7500 full-time equivalent staff, 435 staff voted in favour of industrial action last September, representing just over half of the union’s membership at the university, a statement from the university said.
“It is regrettable that the union has decided to take action which may impact on some students early in the semester,” the spokeswoman said.
So that staff are not disadvantaged by the negotiating process, UQ said it has paid a 2.5 per cent salary increase from 1 January 2014, outside of any scheduled pay rise.