Students say no to staff cuts

Curtin students are fighting to keep the jobs of around 300 university staff, following the recent federal cuts to education.

Curtin Student Fightback, a university club that stands for union rights, held a discussion on Thursday to review the most recent protest against proposed staff cuts.

Curtin Student Guild president Hana Arai says these cuts take away nearly $41 million from teaching staff at the university.

“This would mean around 300 staff members jobs would be made redundant,” she says.

Curtin students respond to proposed staff cuts. Video: Marika Sequeira.

Ms Arai says it is unfair how Curtin is spending millions of dollars on library and residential buildings, but can’t afford to pay its own staff.

“They are doing this to maintain their 2 per cent surplus and are planning to continue with their $80 million capital works project on the library,” she says.

Adding, this money should go more into funding research and education at the university.

Guild president Hana Arai. Video: Marika Sequeira.

National Tertiary Education Union Curtin vice president Scott Fitzgerald says the proposed staff cuts at Curtin will be put into action next year.

The staff cuts are influenced by the recent decisions made by the government regarding the education sector.

“The policy to change how universities are being funded is still going through Parliament, and its effects on Curtin isn’t clear,” he says.

He says the Federal Government has excluded the education sector on three occasions from the Jobseeker package, which has heavily impacted funding at universities.

“The Federal Government should be providing far greater support and direction of how universities are able to respond to the crisis,” he says.

UWA tutor Dr Silvia Lozeva says the government has excluded education from funding, because universities are classified as larger corporates, which are not eligible for the Jobseeker package.

“It is despicable the way universities are targeted in a way that no other sector has been,” she says

“If universities are put in the same category as big businesses, the goal changes to making profit rather than education.”

Dr Silvia says the government should invest in resources and development in the education sector.

She argues universities should not be run by a money-driven model, as this is the wrong method for funding public education.

No to Staff Cuts
Protest discussion on campus. Photo: Marika Sequeira.

Categories: Education, General