UNSW’s job losses show urgent need for federal government funding to save higher ed

By Our Reporter

The federal government’s failure to support Australia’s higher education sector will see the University of NSW cut 500 jobs, says the Community and Public Sector Union of NSW.

The CPSU NSW, which represents professional staff on NSW university campuses, said the offer of 493 voluntary redundancies, announced by UNSW today could have been avoided had the Morrison Government backed higher education during the Covid-19 crisis.

“It is clear that Australia’s higher education sector is in a perilous situation. We need JobKeeper in our universities now, and then we need a fundamental rethink of the higher education system,” said Troy Wright, assistant secretary of the CPSU NSW.

“We will hold a mass meeting with members tomorrow to make sure their voice is heard clearly during talks with the university. We will support our members every step of the way and work with the university to minimise the disruption to students and staff,” he said.

The university sector is in crisis, he said, but it was under pressure long before Covid-19. A lack of proper investment made the sector fragmented and over reliant on international students, he explained.

“The Morrison Government must provide support to the sector, now. CPSU NSW is not looking for a short-term sugar hit to the sector but a sustainable solution that will deliver stability to the system.”

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