Branch VP - General Staff
Branch Committee - Ordinary Member
National Councillor - General Staff
My name is Jennifer and I’m a professional staff member in the Faculty of Medicine and Health, an area of the University that has seen a LOT of change in recent years. I’m also currently on the Branch Committee and a national councillor – roles that have given me the opportunity to really speak out against the way in which our University, and universities in general, are run.
Recent campaigns that I have been involved in are the academic staff reorganisation in SoMS where I worked with academic staff to make management understand academic workloads - this reduced the number of redundancies. Later, management tried to remove Honours students from SoMS academics based on a ‘toxic workplace culture’; my role as the Health and Safety Representative for SoMS was integral in getting to the bottom of the issue via a right of entry under WHS legislation. We uncovered that the only people complaining of a toxic workplace culture were a handful of senior managers – after this came out management backed down and let all the Honours students remain in the labs they started their Honours year in. Currently I am taking an active role in fighting the RETS change plan affecting technical services staff in the faculties of Medicine and Health, Science, and Engineering, as well as in the Central Operations Services PSU.
On a more University-wide level, I have been vocal amongst the HSRs in ensuring that both staff and students returned to a truly COVID-safe campus after the end of lockdowns. I was heavily involved in the development of the NTEU log of claims – in particular taking an active role in ensuring it was as detailed as possible and addressed many of the issues that staff are currently suffering. I was also active in making calls to NTEU members in the lead up to our protected action ballot, which was an overwhelming success with over 80% voter turnout. As a member of the Branch Committee I then pushed for a robust campaign of industrial action and was involved in the planning and execution of the (so far) three days of strike action our branch has held.
An enterprise bargaining campaign is an exciting time to be involved in our union and to be on the Branch Committee. I’m fighting for our entire log of claims, but I have been especially active in fighting for a real pay rise, improvements in First Nations employment, and protections against excessive workload. The interventions of myself and my NTEU Fightback comrades has seen the national pay claim increased from 12% to 15%, and then for the pay claim at Sydney University to be CPI + 2.5% - a real pay rise that will help all staff during this time of rapidly rising cost of living.
I’m eager to continue the valuable work of fighting for pay, jobs, and conditions at Sydney University. As a member of NTEU Fightback I will continue the push for strike action to show university management that the real power in the University lies with the staff. I firmly believe that strike action is the way to win our log of claims, and that we should not make concessions and trade in our hard-won conditions.
NTEU Fightback is a crew of the staunchest, most dedicated unionists: Alma Torlakovic, Jeremy Heathcote, Jennifer Huch-Hoogvliet, Catherine Sutton-Brady, Nicole MacDougall, Lucy Nicolls and David Allen.
A vote for Fightback is a vote for real action:
● A real pay rise: above inflation.
● First nations rights.
● Protect 40/40/20 and permanent jobs.
● Workplace flexibility and a right to WFH.
● Strike to win!