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What you need to know about the planned strike on campus

Industrial action will take place at the University on 24 May

Keep an eye on Canvas for notifications about how your classes are affected by industrial action on Tuesday 24 May.

What is an Enterprise Agreement? 

Enterprise agreements are part of Australia’s industrial relations system, and they govern the pay and conditions of employees at particular organisations (or enterprises). Most enterprise agreements are for a term of three to four years, at which point the employer and staff representatives negotiate for a new agreement. The University of Sydney is currently in negotiations for a new Enterprise Agreement with staff representatives from the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) and the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU).

The University of Sydney has some of the best wages and conditions of any university in Australia. We are proposing an Enterprise Agreement that will maintain and enhance our conditions, create more flexibility for our academics to pursue careers that are aligned with their strengths and interests, and create more secure jobs.

What is a strike? 

A strike, sometimes referred to as protected industrial action, is when workers withdraw their labour as a negotiating tactic in bargaining. The NTEU has indicated that they intend to hold a 24 hour strike on 24 May. That means that some of your lectures or tutorials which are taught by participating NTEU members may be cancelled. 

What does this mean for my classes? 

Most classes will be moved to online delivery on the strike day. It is possible that some classes will be cancelled if your lecturer or tutor takes strike action, in which case the University will do our best to let you know as far in advance as possible. Some buildings may require swipe access during industrial action, so if you intend to come to campus please bring your student card with you.

Students who wish not to attend class or complete assessments on these dates should notify their unit of study coordinator as soon as possible in the usual way. Where possible, students will not be disadvantaged. Make sure you check Canvas and your University email account regularly for the latest info. 

What do I do if I come across a picket line?

A picket line is a common element of strike action, where union members gather near entrances to campus, often with signs and banners, and may distribute flyers and other materials. 

It’s important to understand that protesters may speak to students and staff at the picket lines about why they are striking, but it is unlawful for them to prevent access to campus spaces. If you are unsure of what is acceptable picket line behaviour, you might like to read the NTEU’s Guidelines for Picketers. We expect everyone coming to campus to behave respectfully: any behaviour that jeopardises the safety of others is unacceptable.

Will my cancelled class be rescheduled? 

It is up to individual academics to decide whether or not classes cancelled as part of industrial action will be rescheduled, but it is most likely that any cancelled classes will not be rescheduled. 

What does this mean for my exams and assessments? 

The University has asked staff who are participating in industrial action to ensure that students’ exams and assessments will not be adversely affected by any class cancellations. 

What should I do if I feel unsafe on campus?

If you feel unsafe on campus, please call Protective Services on +61 2 9351 3487 or use the emergency help points.

If you have experienced an instance of assault (verbal or physical) call 000. ​

Once you are in a safe place, report the event to a staff member.

The University provides counselling through the Student Counselling Service +2 8627 8433, that can be accessed if you require support.  


Last updated: Friday 20 May

28 April 2022

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