Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said that up to 30,000 university jobs will be lost if the federal government does not provide a new funding package for universities and extend the JobKeeper payment to university workers.
The Greens support the National Tertiary Education Union’s National Day of Action (NDA), taking place today, which calls on Education Minister Dan Tehan to step up on university funding and save thousands of jobs.
Senator Faruqi said:
“Universities around the country are already cutting staff and courses in response to this crisis. As semester two approaches, this will only get worse.
“Job and course cuts will have generational impacts on the quality and excellence of university teaching and research in our country.
“University workers are being left high and dry by a government that has not only resisted providing them support, but put up extra barriers every step of the way during this crisis. It seems this government simply doesn’t care.
“With tens of thousands of jobs on the line, it is outrageous that the government won’t lift a finger to help save livelihoods and the future of higher education.
“It’s time Minister Tehan provided a new funding package for universities and scrapped the unfair rules which have excluded every single university from qualifying for the JobKeeper payment.
“Universities are some of the most casualised workplaces in the country. This leaves uni workers incredibly vulnerable to downturns in revenue.
“Universities with large reserves must prioritise staff jobs in spending what money they have. Keeping university staff, including casuals, on payroll should be top of every Vice-Chancellor’s agenda in managing this crisis,” she said.