Edge Dwellers Café Podcast: A new vision for unionism in universities with the La Trobe Casuals Network

In this episode of the Edge Dwellers Cafe, Ben Habib is joined for special panel discussion with Anastasia Kanjere, Emily Foley, and Pan Karanikolas from the La Trobe Casuals Network, a volunteer group of casualised workers at La Trobe University who are dedicated to improving working conditions for casualised and insecure workers. The conversation explores the ‘A new NTEU’ campaign, the impacts of widespread precarity of workers in the university sector, systemic wage theft from casual staff, the deliberate evisceration of universities during the pandemic, and building collective power and a solidarity of care in university workplaces.

00:00:00  Introduction

00:04:00  Origins of the La Trobe Casuals Network.

00:07:39  Galvanising impact on organising of the deliberate evisceration of universities during the pandemic.

00:11:41  Renewed solidarity between academic and professional staff in universities.

00:13:31  Fight for the soul of universities.

00:15:08  Sector-wide systematic wage theft from casual staff.

00:21:01  Changing the structure of academic work and workplace relations.

00:24:21  Significance of the University of Sydney strike.

00:26:21  Building collective power through the union.

00:27:47  Challenges of workplace organising in universities.

00:31:58  Management union-busting and their culture of fear.

00:36:46  Collective action suggestions for university staff and students.

00:41:01  Solidarity of care.

00:45:04  Ongoing staff showing solidarity with casual colleagues.

00:51:26  Conclusion.

Show links

About the Anastasia, Emily and Pan, and the La Trobe Casuals Network

About Ben Habib, host of Edge Dwellers Cafe

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This podcast is broadcast from Naarm/Melbourne on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri people. Edge Dwellers Cafe pays respect to their elders past and present.