Ben Graham for Branch Committee

I’m Ben Graham, a casual tutor in the School of Computer Science (SCS) since 2020.

I’ve been active in the recent NTEU strikes as a police liaison at the ABS picket. In recent years, it’s become clear that the University has engaged in business practices that have left us with widespread casualisation and poor working conditions. Initial tutor meetings are often punctuated with news about budget cuts, or course content is cut midway through semester due to budget constraints, but the University has made a billion dollars in profit, something can’t be right with how our university is being run.

University management deeply affects the quality of education and research that the University delivers, which should be its fundamental, guiding purpose in its decision-making. Instead, the University has delivered record profits on the back of cutting staff and units across multiple faculties, depriving students of a quality education.

In order to improve working conditions at our university, we need to continue the fight against the management of the university through active recruitment and organisation of the staff over the next semester in order to win the claims that the union has committed to.

However, there are longer term issues that the union faces at our university that I believe affects its growth and development. There are areas of the university where I believe that there is room for the union to grow. An example is my workplace where there is low union visibility and a general lack of awareness about the union from new tutors – which is a failure on the part of the union to attract membership of a diverse background of working experiences and to be actively recruiting and organising new members. I believe that the Branch Committee needs to be more engaged with staff across the university, and organisations like the Casuals Network show that this is not just a pipe dream; these are achievable goals that have tangible benefits to the workers of the university, whether that be academics or casual tutors.

Following the strikes, we’ve already had some financial concessions from the university, goodwill and strong press coverage, often focusing on the bloated salaries of university management contrasted to the way that staff are treated. If management wins their claims, we will see a fall in the quality of education and research, which leads to worse outcomes for staff and students.


I’m running as a member of RAFA. We’re a group of union members seeking to extend our industrial campaign in Semester Two. We believe our union could be even stronger with more concerted organising, recruitment, and engagement. We’re made up of academic and professional staff, ongoing and casual, and we want to see the university reflect the voices of its workers.

We’ve come out of three days of strike action with a boost in membership and lots of good press coverage. We have a real chance to make change happen at the University – but that needs our vibrant grassroots campaign to continue and grow across Semester Two. We’ll need to bring new members on board, build towards even stronger strike action, and conclude negotiations not only with a fairer contract but a stronger union.

Vote [1] David Brophy for Academic VP

Vote [1] Dylan Griffiths for General VP

Vote [1] Finola Laughren for Casual BC

Vote [1] to [8] for Ordinary Committee Member: [1] Markela Panegyres, [2] Dylan Griffiths, [3] Dani Cotton, [4] Cian Galea, [5] Ben Miller, [6] Luke Alexander, [7] Matte Rochford, and [8] Ben Graham

For a full how-to-vote and to find out how you can get more involved, go to

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s