The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) will hold a social distancing snap protest outside Josh Frydenberg’s electoral office in Camberwell from 11 am until 1 pm, Thursday 28 May to demand an urgently needed support package for universities.
“The entire university community is in shock that the federal government has abandoned higher education during this crisis. It is hard not to see the federal government’s actions as willful neglect. The JobKeeper rules have been deliberately adjusted three times to prevent universities from being eligible, despite the fact that 21,000 jobs nationally hang in the balance,” said Dr Melissa Slee, Victorian State Secretary of the NTEU.
“Then last Friday Josh Frydenberg made the astonishing admission that there is a $60 billion surplus in the JobKeeper scheme. The money is clearly able to be spent. Even a fraction of that $60 billion surplus will go a very long way to rescuing universities and yet still no action.”
“Deakin University’s announcement to axe 400 jobs, including 300 targeted, forced redundancies, is just the beginning of the job losses the sector is facing. Staff who lose their jobs in the current crisis lose everything and are thrown into an already overwhelmed labour market.”
“Every job saved is another important contributor to keeping our universities going and lifts demand in the economy. It beggars belief that the federal government has failed to notice the sector’s pleas for support.”
“We know that Josh Frydenberg has the power, at the stroke of a pen, to prevent the devastation of jobs in the university sector. We are protesting today to demand the federal government act now before it’s too late.”