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Research staff deserve a better future

In 2008, NTEU started Collective Bargaining at all Australian universities. Naturally, the Union is seeking improved pay and conditions for all its members. In this round, however, NTEU is giving priority to the needs of contract research staff.

There are over 12,000 academic and general contract and casual research staff. In many cases have long years of service, but are still treated as second-class staff.

What contract research staff have told us

Throughout 2008, NTEU held many meetings with contract research staff about their concerns.

The results include:

  • Years of fixed-term employment without job security.
  • Arbitrary assignment of staff as academic or general staff, sometimes based on cost alone.
  • Use of casual employment for ongoing work.
  • Breaks between contracts which deprive staff of leave and other entitlements.
  • Discrimination against contract research staff in superannuation and study leave, academic promotion and general staff classification.
  • Unfair funding body rules which discriminate against fixed-term and part-time staff.
  • Inadequate research grants and funding indexation, with shortfalls being passed on to staff in the form of lower salaries and shortened contracts.

What is NTEU doing?

All these problems cannot be solved at once. However, NTEU has put improved conditions for contract and casual research staff among its top priorities in the current bargaining negotiations.

NTEU will be seeking real improvements in employment conditions for all contract research staff and access to more secure employment for thousands of long-term research staff.

The outcomes will be different at each university, but will mainly depend on how much active support the Union receives from local research staff.

To succeed in this important campaign we need your help!

This can be as simple as joining NTEU, telling colleagues about the campaign, attending your University’s next NTEU general meeting, or displaying and distributing campaign materials.

To find out more, contact your University’s local NTEU Branch


For the latest news and information, please refer to our Research Staff blog: www.nteu.org.au/research

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