Uni student results remain in limbo

A LARGE number of Monash University Gippsland students still do not have their mid-year results as a dispute continues between Monash and the National Tertiary Education Union.

While some students qualified for an exemption to union-imposed bans on the release of results, which form part of its industrial action against Monash, the remaining student body is still waiting.

Last week NTEU Monash branch industrial organiser Liz Schroeder told The Express she believed, despite an initial backlash from some students over the bans, most understood the action was “about the quality of their education”.

Enterprise bargaining negotiations have dragged on for about 12 months now and the union has accused Monash of refusing to “budge on workloads, job security, consultation about change and pay.”

Ms Schroeder said the union believed Monash was “prepared to spend huge amounts of money at the Fair Work Commission trying to get the bans lifted rather than returning to (the negotiating) table.”

“We told them as soon as they return to the table, we will lift the bans,” she said.

Monash Provost and Senior Vice-President Edwina Cornish, in a recent letter to colleagues, said about 13,000 students were still missing their semester one results and the university had “taken steps to protect students and their welfare” including applying to the FWC to have the bans lifted.

She said the commission had noted the results ban had been “far from perfect” however increased exemptions meant the Commission now believed any threat to student welfare had been reduced so the NTEU was allowed to continue it bans.

Professor Cornish said this decision was disappointing and though Monash remained concerned about the impact on students, it accepted FWC’s decision.

One Monash staffer said the university’s expression of concern for students’ welfare was “hypocritical” given it had “raised the anxiety levels of students unnecessarily” recently by sending out an “early warning letter” with a series of recommendations for students concerned they may have failed a unit, despite lecturers assuring students if they had failed units they would already have been contacted.