Endorsement: Anne Picot

USYD NTEU member 2002–2016

I retired early from the University of Sydney back in 2016, because amongst other things, I hated the way the place was going. It was all too easy to see the direction the management was taking the place, especially undervaluing the staff and regarding the international students as resources to be soaked. Since then with COVID and the ever more overt hostility of the Coalition governments things have got so much worse.

So I welcome and offer my support to the Rank And File Action ticket because they address the casualisation, the insecure work, the miserable pay for the precariously employed and they demand a more inclusive university. That they also stand for an extensive social justice program is the other reason I support RAFA because sexism, racism, ableism, homophobia, and justice for First Nations and the question of peace, not war, are all workers’ issues, and should be matters for unions to take up and campaign about.

Traditionally we have looked to the academy to comment on all such issues, from the standpoint of expertise and ethics not swayed by vested interests. Sadly the precarious nature of university employment has cowed so many in the tertiary sector that such independent opinion is far rarer than it should be. Fighting on a workplace basis to gain teaching and research staff permanency with adequate pay and restore the dignity of the university workforce is important not only for the workers themselves, but for the health of our society.

La lotta continua

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