Classes may be cancelled over the coming weeks and end-of-semester results withheld as industrial action by UTas staff is expected to ramp up.
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), which represents UTas staff, has been locked in negotiations over a new staff agreement with the University for almost 15 months.
Discussions have stalled and “bans on the preparation and delivery of teaching and bans on the transmission to the University of student results” are likely, according the NTEU, as they “feel like we have no other option left.”
Emma Gill, the Industrial Officer for the NTEU, said that classes may be cancelled at the end of this week, with further cancellations possible for classes continuing over the Semester 2 examination period.
In a letter to students, the NTEU stated they have “fought hard to reach agreement with UTas management without impacting [students].”
The Union has been in discussions about putting in processes to manage large staff workloads, improve job security, introduce a 2 per cent pay rise and paid family violence leave.
Last week, debate sparked after the Tasmanian University Union (TUU) claimed the actions of the NTEU “will hurt students and have the potential to halt the academic and professional futures of students.”
However, the NTEU has since clarified that “there will be appropriate mechanisms to ensure students who genuinely need their results will be exempt from the ban.”
The Industrial Officer for the NTEU, Emma Gill, said it was “unfortunate” that the TUU issued incorrect information without having a conversation with them.
In a Facebook post, that has since been deleted, the TUU described the actions as an “attack” and encouraged students to sign a petition against the withholding of results.
The petition was first shared by the Tasmanian University Liberal Club.
A counter-petition inviting students and the community to show their support for the NTEU and UTas staff that suggests “staff working conditions are student learning conditions” has received 321 signatures at the time of publication.
The NTEU says they are “ready, willing and able to continue negotiations for a single, high-quality staff agreement.”
If an agreement can not be struck between the University and the NTEU, some Semester 2 results could be withheld after November 29, the current release date.