To: For casual tutors at UoM
UniMelb must pay Arts tutors for Lecture Attendance
At the #1 University of Melbourne, over 300 staff members, both casual and permanent staff, have signed an internal petition demanding that casual academics in the Faculty of Arts be paid for their attendance at lectures.
Now we are asking you to support us.
Why is this important?
Lecture attendance is crucial for university teaching. While 16 university management executives are making more than a combined $10 million and students are paying more than $50,000 for degrees, 4000 staff members are having to work 2-3 casual teaching jobs to make ends meet.
This petition responds to the cessation of payment for lecture attendance in the School of Culture and Communication, but advocates for all staff and students in the Faculty of Arts.
For the University of Melbourne to have a vibrant intellectual community, that community needs a place to meet and belong. The lecture theatre is one of the few fixed locations on campus where tutors carry out their work alongside lecturers and coordinators. Content isn’t merely disseminated downward from the lectern. The lecture theatre is a space where practitioners share knowledge before, during, and after the lecture itself. It is an important space for lecturers to receive feedback and contribute to ongoing discussions, and for senior tutors to mentor junior tutors. The integrity of the tutorial space is in question when lecture attendance is neither expected of tutors, nor paid. In order to appropriately model and support student engagement with course content, tutors need to attend lectures. Tutors provide the majority of face-to-face contact students have throughout their degrees. Students need assurance that the Faculty values best practice pedagogy, and that their tutors have a meaningful relationship to the campus they work on and the content they teach.
We, the undersigned, petition the Faculty of Arts to recognise that staff working conditions are student learning conditions, that lecture attendance is vital pedagogical work, and that tutors must be paid for this work separately from and in addition to tutorial preparation.