Universities Accord must deliver improvements for staff and students: union

National Tertiary Education Union

The National Tertiary Education Union will fight to ensure any changes stemming from the Universities Accord make higher education sustainable for staff and students.

The Accord Panel’s final report, released today, contains 47 headline recommendations for the federal government to consider.

The NTEU welcomes the finding that “consistently high rates of casualisation in the system since 2010 hinder the higher education sector as it strives for improvement in learning and teaching quality”.

The NTEU will continue working with the government to ensure this report leads to better universities including a new funding model that addresses rampant job insecurity and wage theft.

NTEU National President Dr Alison Barnes welcomed the release of the report.

“This ambitious reform blueprint has the potential to create better universities but only if it is implemented correctly and funded properly,” she said.

“The NTEU will examine the final report closely and work with members to determine a comprehensive response, given the enormous scope of reform proposed.

“The report is crystal clear that we need solutions to the insecure work crisis to protect quality and ensure staff retention and recruitment.

“Creating a new Australian Tertiary Education Commission should be a priority, with a focus on tackling core issues for staff.

“As should rolling back the unfair and poorly designed Job Ready Graduates scheme.

“The proposed changes to research funding have the potential to inject more fairness and certainty after years of neglect to one of Australia’s most precious resources.

“Recommendations to increase participation and better support of First Nations students and staff, and the promotion of First Nations knowledge and understanding within higher education are a step in the right direction.

“The NTEU proposed a Higher Education Future Fund, which is a core recommendation from the report.

“It’s crucial that a future fund focuses on addressing core issues for staff like insecure work.

“I want to pay tribute to all the incredible NTEU members that have worked so hard to ensure staff voices were heard throughout the Accord process.

“Our fight will now enter a new phase but with the same laser focus on creating better universities for staff, students and Australia.”

/Public Release.