Union says La Trobe jobs will go

Seven academic staff from the business faculty, library staff and other academic and administrative positions at La Trobe University's Bendigo campus will be cut, the National Tertiary Education Union has confirmed.

The NTEU has received documents from La Trobe University management setting out redundancies to be made in each faculty.

NTEU Bendigo branch vice president Graeme Byrne said change impact statements with details had recently become available.

"The business students at least seem to be going to get the worst deal out of these," Mr Byrne said.

He said nine library staff would be cut from the existing 20 which would disadvantage students by depleting library support.

Mr Byrne said university staff were feeling shocked.

"If they really were interested in closing down this many positions in the library you would think these people would have been told ages ago," he said.

Mr Byrne said he had been in conversations with long-serving academic staff members whose positions were being moved to Melbourne and upgraded in seniority, preventing them for re-applying.

"Why would it be that a person whose been doing a good job for a long time not be allowed to apply for a position," he said. 

He said the four-week consultation process announced on June 23 was not a true consultation.

"What’s to negotiate, they have made up their mind," he said.

"They have had consultants working on this for a year, and now they’re going to listen to us for four weeks and change things, I think not."

La Trobe University spokesman Tim Mitchell said the cuts to staffing were "proposals only" and that no final decisions had been made. 

"I can't confirm the details provided by the union," Mr Mitchell said.

"We want to hear from staff what they think about these proposals before any final decisions are made," he said.  

"While these are still all proposals, the vast bulk of staff at the university would transition to a new structure."

The union's senior industrial officer Josh Cullinan said the NTEU was in talks with La Trobe University management through the Fairwork Commission about the consultation process.

"They failed to properly consult with staff and the union before they made a decision," Mr Cullinan said.

Mr Cullinan said university management had been ordered to provide documentation to Fairwork about its budgets from 2013 and the decisions that have had a significant impact on the university's need to make staff cuts.

"We hope this will show they have been making decisions without sufficient consultation with staff," he said.


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