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Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon speaks at Sydney Uni staff strike

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 7 Mar 2013

WHAT: Australian Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon speaks at University of Sydney strike action and staff picket
WHERE: Sydney Uni gates on City Road (cnr Eastern Avenue)
WHEN: 12.30-1.30pm today
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Senator Rhiannon and other protesters and banners at gates. Photos also available on request.

Sydney University staff, striking today for a fair Enterprise Agreement, are making an important contribution to the Australia wide campaign for improved university education, Australian Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said today.

Ms Rhiannon was at the picket this morning from 7am and returns to speaks at 12.30pm.

"Sydney University management's attempt to downgrade employment conditions will not only impact on staff but will also affect research and student learning outcomes," Senator Rhiannon said.

"The Times Higher Education world university rankings this week included Sydney University in the top 100 universities.

"This international standing, that is so important to the future of Sydney University, will suffer if management persist with their heavy handed push to downgrade staff working conditions.

"The Greens strongly support today's strike with many of our members joining the picket lines at the gates leading into Sydney University campus.

"The way management is negotiating reflects poorly on the University. The enterprise bargaining claims were lodged by the NTEU last August. After a lengthy delay the response from management is effectively a log of claims to run down key working conditions.

"Management's demands for reduced job security and sick leave entitlements, no limits on casual staff numbers and for the removal of all commitments to prevent discriminatory employment practices are unacceptable.

"Such changes would inflict great damage on staff working conditions, student learning outcomes and research standards," Senator Rhiannon said.

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