Printery to remain

MONASH University Gippsland has backflipped on plans to sack print services staff, according to the National Tertiary Education Union.

According to an NTEU spokesperson, the change of heart came late Friday, after Monash’s plans to close its print services attracted an ongoing campaign from campus staff and union members aimed at convincing Monash to retain the positions.

Last week, NTEU industrial organiser Liz Schroeder said the campaign had developed to convince University of Ballarat it would be more beneficial to a new Federation University Australia entity, due to commence next year, to keep the nine workers whose jobs have been hanging in the balance for about 10 days.

Monash said its proposal to close print services was based on declining demand for print work and material, with the move to online and digital documents and claimed the service was losing more than $1 million per annum, a deficit projected to “worsen in coming years”.

This morning, an NTEU spokesperson said the union was very happy with Monash’s changed position.

Ms Schroeder told The Express a meeting with union members at the Gippsland campus last Wednesday resolved to gather information to present to UB, providing detail staffers did not believe UB had yet been privy to the potential benefits of retaining print services.

She said members considered Monash’s decision “very much a stepping away from the undertaking of the (Monash) Vice Chancellor (Ed Byrne) at every meeting members attended, and with the community,” that no Monash employees would lose their jobs in a transfer to FUA.

“So people are exceedingly disappointed with this, and nobody feels their job is secure,” she said.

Ms Schroeder said local NTEU members were “very keen for FUA to be given an opportunity to continue to employ the staff” and for UB to understand “their skills and knowledge base would be incredibly useful to a new organisation”.

“We believe they (UB) should be able to make the call but Monash are trying to bundle them out of it before it can be considered genuinely by the new entity,” Ms Schroeder said.

“We also believe the information this proposal was based on is very flimsy and is stripping away assets (from the new entity) contrary to all undertakings.”