Strikes at Victorian universities: anger, exhaustion and a sense of injustice

With more than 70% of teaching-only staff casually employed and millions owed in "wage theft", university workers are desperate for better pay and conditions.
Strikes. University of Melbourne protesters march in solidarity with striking staff of RMIT University in CBD of Melbourne, October 2023. They are wearing purple and carrying placards. Photo: Darren Hocking.

Six of Victoria’s eight universities have been in enterprise bargaining negotiations for months. The strikes are coming thick and fast as workers protest the corporatisation of an education sector that isn’t serving students, teachers or the future of a creative, educated Australia.

Protestors are calling on the institutions to stop stalling on lapsed industrial agreements and to make real changes to what everyone, including the Federal Government in its current Universities Accord process, agrees is a broken system.

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Rochelle Siemienowicz is the ArtsHub Group's Education and Career Editor. She was previously a journalist for Screenhub and is a writer, film critic and cultural commentator with a PhD in Australian cinema. She was the co-host of Australia's longest-running film podcast 'Hell is for Hyphenates' and has written a memoir, Fallen, published by Affirm Press. Her second book, Double Happiness, a novel, will be published by Midnight Sun in 2024. Instagram: @Rochelle_Rochelle Twitter: @Milan2Pinsk