The Greens have condemned the Labor Weatherill Government’s cuts to student and staff numbers on Adelaide and Flinders University Councils as “an attack on industrial and university democracy.” The move to cut these positions on Council was strongly opposed by the NTEU and student representatives.
Greens Higher Education spokesperson, Tammy Franks MLC, stated:
“Universities wouldn’t even exist with staff and students yet the Weatherill government have supported the Vice Chancellors’ request to remove their numbers from the table where the key decisions are made that directly affect them. The VCs said ‘cut’ and the Government just asked ‘how much’.
“Staff and students provide an invaluable and irreplaceable voice at the University Council table. They are the ones most affected by the decisions made. They have been shafted by Labor today.
“It’s hardly surprising that Labor doesn’t care if the Universities don’t listen to staff and students though because state Labor certainly didn’t listen to the NTEU’s pleas to keep the numbers as is. This was the Labor Party ‘declare and defend’ behaviour of old in full flight, not the ‘consult and decide’ policy Premier Weatherill promised he would deliver.
“It’s odd that a Labor Party that purportedly stands for industrial democracy and a voice for the workers would silence the very voices that represent the university workers and provide that very democracy.
“Universities are far more than businesses and the way they are governed should reflect that. Labor’s let students and staff down today,” Ms. Franks concluded.