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What you need to know about the planned strike on campus

20 May 2022
Industrial action will take place at the University on 11 and 12 May
Keep an eye on Canvas for notifications about how your classes are affected by industrial action on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 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 48 hour strike on 11 and 12 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 proceed as normal. Some classes may be moved to online delivery on the strike days. 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. 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. Union members may wish to talk to you about why they are taking strike action, but they cannot prevent you from entering campus.

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. 

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