Protests against proposed Federation University job cuts planned

April 26, 2024 12:02 pm in by
Photo: Radio Ballarat

Staff and students will come together next week to protest against proposed job cuts at Federation University.

Over the last five years, the university has suffered a revenue loss of over $79 million, leading to an announcement last month that around 200 jobs would be axed.

It’s not yet known where the cuts will be applied.

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President of the university’s National Tertiary Education Union branch, Dr. Mathew Abbott, says they don’t know what courses will still be available next year or what student support services are going to be hit.

He says the uncertainty is causing a great deal of distress.

“Part of the issue is right now they’re starting to apply this process for voluntary redundancies, but they’ve been very clear if they don’t get a sufficient number of people volunteering, they’re going to switch to compulsory redundancies,” he said.

“That’s going to be even more devastating once we go into that phase.”

In a statement, Vice-Chancellor of Federation University, Professor Duncan Bentley, said since COVID, the environment for Australian universities has become more challenging and Federation is no different.

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Professor Bentley said they have an obligation to ensure they operate sustainably and are generating sufficient surpluses to reinvest in students, staff, and teaching and research.

He said their transformation requires difficult decisions, and they acknowledge the impact of these on their people and communities.

He says they’ll be doing everything they can to support them through the process.

The protest at Fed Uni’s Mount Helen campus will be held at midday on Thursday.