NATIONAL Teachers Education Union (NTEU) members at Federation University held an all member meeting last week, where they vowed to join protests at the university’s three major campuses this week to oppose the ‘Future Fed’ cuts proposal.

The Future Fed Program was recently announced in the wake of huge revenue losses – nearly $80 million since 2019.

It is understood up to 200 jobs could be lost under the program.

Staff, students, and the community will rally at midday on Wednesday, May 1 at the Churchill campus, following action at the Berwick campus on Tuesday, April 30. Demonstrations will also take place at midday at the Mt Helen campus on Thursday, May 2.

Protestors will call on senior management to stop the proposed cuts, which they say will destroy valued courses and further undermine already stretched student support services.

“Our Branch’s organising team has been very busy putting up posters, handing out leaflets, and engaging staff and students in conversations to build these important rallies,” NTEU Branch President, Dr Mathew Abbott said.

“Our Branch has taken on this rogue management in the past and won and we are aiming to do so again. The stakes are very high as staff members believe our university cannot survive cuts of this scale, as they will make our problems with student enrolment and retention far worse.”

FedUni student, Ramesh Durai says students are very concerned about the cuts and about proposals from the university’s Provost to replace valued staff with chat bots.

“As a current international student, I would be greatly disappointed should the discussed changes, specifically those regarding the redundancy of staff and replacement with automated systems, be meted out,” Mr Durai said.

“I would consider it a failing of the university to fulfil their contracted charge of proper tertiary education.

“If I wanted a chatbot handling my requests I would take that to Maccas, not my university.”