FedUni NTEU members call on Vice Chancellor to resign and will campaign to stop his sweeping job cuts

National Tertiary Education Union

National Tertiary Education Union members at Federation University have called for Vice Chancellor Duncan Bentley to resign after announcing massive job cuts.

NTEU members have vowed to fight management’s plan to cut 200 ongoing positions from FedUni, equivalent to about 12% of staff at the already stretched university.

At a mass meeting, an overwhelming majority of union members passed a motion calling for the resignation of the vice-chancellor and FedUni’s Chief Financial Officer John Blair.

Both were criticised over their poor record in managing university finances and presiding over sharp declines in student enrolment and revenue since 2019.

Union members also noted the lack of vision for the future of FedUni demonstrated by management.

The vote committed FedUni NTEU members to opposing job cuts using all available means, including mass rallies in strategic locations, an ongoing media campaign, and pursuing legal measures to enforce FedUni’s Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.

“FedUni’s NTEU members have successfully stopped poor decision-making by senior managers at our University before, as we did when management backed down on its disastrous plan to cut the Bachelor of Arts program in its entirety,” said Dr Mathew Abbott, President of FedUni’s NTEU Branch.

“Members are organising again to stop these cuts and we know students and community members are behind us.”

“Federation University attracts diverse students, often from low-SES backgrounds, and cutting courses and removing staff who work hard to support our students will not solve our revenue problems but stands to make them worse instead.

“Our university simply cannot sustain cuts of this scale.”

“The announcement appears especially irrational considering the Federal Government’s Universities Accord contains several commitments to bolster funding to regional institutions and universities with a lower SES student cohort,” Dr Abbott said.

/Public Release.