Dear comrades, my name is Luke Alexander, and I work as a full-time continuing teacher and teacher trainer at the Centre for English Teaching. I’ve been working in higher education since 2013, and in that time I’ve seen our sector from many different perspectives. I’ve worked as a casual academic, enduring wage theft. I’ve been a PhD candidate for a few years now, and I’ve seen the insecure academic job market impact the lives of those around me. Finally, I’ve worked as a full-time continuing teacher to international students, with ever increasing workloads, trying to help my international students as they navigate a system that sees them as cash cows as much as anything else.
I’ve been a member of the NTEU since 2015, but it’s really been the past 2 years that I have been an active member, although I did join the picket in 2018. It was the change management process that led the elimination of the Learning Hub and the loss of jobs of fellow workers that saw me become active in the union, as I helped organise the campaign to save those jobs. Since that time I have worked to organise in the Centre for English Teaching against growing workloads and cutbacks to casual workers pay and conditions. I was also at one point police liaison at the Barff Rd pickets in the last industrial action, and will be part of the bargaining team negotiating Schedule 5 of the Enterprise Agreement.
I see the immediate short term aim of the Branch Committee is to continue to use all the means that we have to get the best possible result for University of Sydney workers in our EA negotiations. The best weapon we have is of course industrial action, and I support its ongoing use to win all of our Log of Claims. I am also a strong believer in union democracy, and think that the bargaining team must must be subordinate to members’ meetings, and the democratically elected branch committee. Longer term I am committed to doing everything possible to end casualisation and exploitative work practices at the university, and to fighting against racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism. I also strongly believe that we need ongoing real workplace democracy at our university, a workplace democracy where staff and students, rather than unaccountable managers, make the decisions.
I’m proud to say I’m running as a member of Rank And File Action. 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  David Brophy for Academic VP
Vote  Dylan Griffiths for General VP
Vote  Finola Laughren for Casual BC
Vote  to  for Ordinary Committee Member:  Markela Panegyres,  Dylan Griffiths,  Dani Cotton,  Cian Galea,  Ben Miller,  Luke Alexander,  Matte Rochford, and  Ben Graham
For a full how-to-vote and to find out how you can get more involved, go to https://rafausyd.wordpress.com