School of Music staff — 72 hours, and the clock’s ticking

ANU School of Music academic staff have been given 72 hours to make a pitch for their old jobs.

An email from Professor Peter Tregear, the new head of the school to sent to “affected staff” yesterday, attached final position descriptions for the positions under the new structure, saying “now that the academic position descriptions have been finalised the transition process of the academic staff…will commence.”

It is believed that Professor Tregear is in India this week while this process takes place, but his email requests staff to “nominate their interest in directly transferring into a new position by submitting a brief (1-2 page) summary outlining their skills, knowledge and commitment to delivering the new School curriculum.”

ACT representative for the National Tertiary Education Union, Stephen Darwin, told “CityNews” this morning that the university had proved “intransigent” when ask to acknowledge and respect the achievements of print staff.

The email confirms this, outlining a process where Professor Tregear would review existing positions against the new or revised positions to see if there are existing positions that have the same, or substantially the same duties, classification level and career standing.

Additionally, he is to ascertain “if the staff member currently possesses the skills and experience (or could reasonably be expected to develop the required skills within a limited period) to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position in the new structure.”

If he decides the staff member can do so, the possibility exists that such staff “may be directly transferred into the positions in the revised structure.”

A two page submission must be sent to Head of School by 4pm on Friday, a request that has thrown the already beleaguered staff into disarray.

Fears have not been assuaged by Professor Tregear’s assurance in the email that it is “not a competitive process” and his offer of access to information on “voluntary separations, fixed term pre-retirement agreements, leave without pay, voluntary conversion to part time employment, the taking of long service leave or secondment.”

5 Responses to “School of Music staff — 72 hours, and the clock’s ticking”

  1. Angela Giblin
    September 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    The destruction of the School of Music is irreversible, and the ANU of course hasn’t budged an inch. Thanks Helen for your fine journalistic work on this sad chapter.

  2. Virginia Weekes
    September 19, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    No doubt the two page ‘summaries’ will be sent off for evaluation by resumé scanning software, and be rated according to the incidence of buzz words before they get looked at by someone in HR. It is outrageous that such distinguished staff should be treated in such a disrespectful manner. Surely it is the job of the Head of School to be aware of their skills and knowledge.Their commitment to providing the finest education — and job readiness — in their students has already been amply demonstrated.

  3. Peter Hislop
    September 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    I echo the above, thank you Judith and Helen. Something that has evaded me is an explanation of the University’s obligations or undertakings in the Deed of Transfer of the School of Music to it, and whether the University is meeting those obligations. Unfortunately there might be a perception of political reluctance on the part of the Labor ACT government to push the Chancellor (a former Federal Labor minister) too strongly on this, or the impact it is having on the ACT. Barbara Gilby above also points out another Labor connection that she feels hasn’t achieved the outcomes she thought possible in a fairly chaotic university process. I haven’t yet heard a Federal Minister’s thoughts on the matter, but I’d like to.

  4. Barbara Gilby
    September 19, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    This is an outrage! I can’t believe that a business that treated its workers this way would get away with such shambolick rubbish. I’d say it’s time for the union to actually do something.

  5. Judith Crispin
    September 19, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Your support of Canberra musicians and artists is very much appreciated Helen. It is always easy to be strong for others in the easy times but you are still fighting for the cultural community even when the tide has seemingly turned against us. That is admirable.

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