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Union anger at job cuts method

Union reps are gearing up for a fight against the University of Sydney’s planned job cuts, with 340 positions to go across administrative and academic areas. National Tertiary Education Union branch president Michael Thompson attacked the universities approach to move straight to job cuts. “They haven’t said, we’ve made some mistakes, we’d like to re-orient, and here some suggestions,” he said.

Last Monday, the vice-chancellor, Professor Michael Spence, sent out a video statement confirming rumours of wide-ranging job cuts and budget reductions. “This year has presented us with a pressing financial challenge,” Spence told staff.  He said this year’s budget was formulated around an expected growth in fee income of 7 per cent, based on 9.6 per cent average growth over the past five years. But the expected growth failed to materialise, due to a greater number of domestic students deferring, and the drop in international students.

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