Picket lines at SCU

PICKET lines will block entrances to Southern Cross University today as part of the National Tertiary Education Union's Australia-wide National Day of Action, disturbing student classes and halting construction of a new on-campus pool.

Southern Cross University union branch president Jenny Austin said picketers planned to prevent a crane and water tanker from entering the campus. The pool, when built, will be open to the public.

“I have contacted the construction company and warned them of this,” Ms Austin said.

Southern Cross University's management has condemned the industrial action proposed by some members of the union, including a 24-hour strike on Wednesday and a two-hour stoppage on Thursday.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Bill MacGillivray said the university was close to finalising a new enterprise bargaining agreement and there had already been significant benefits agreed to.

“For example, we have reached in-principle agreement on significant benefits to staff including 26 weeks paid parental leave, up from 14 weeks, and increasing the casual loading to 25 per cent,” he said.

“We have advised students that there may be possible disruption to normal classes. However as the action involves a relatively small number of staff we anticipate the disruption will be minor.”

Ms Austin said the university's agreements fulfilled the 'bare minimum' legal requirements set by the Fair Work Australia Act.

SHOULD UNI STAFF GO ON STRIKE? Phone 6624 3266 or SMS 0428 264 948

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