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.
00:04:00 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.
- The La Trobe Casuals Network submission to the Senate Enquiry on Wage Theft.
- A New NTEU: Anastasia Kanjere for NTEU General Secretary.
- Anastasia Kanjere. “In Australia, Precarious University Workers Are Stepping Up the Fight”. Jacobin. 20 April 2022.
- Jane McAlevey. “Recent video clips, under 2 minutes each, on Apathy, Winning, Overcoming Fear in a Campaign”.
- Thomas Klikauer and Meg Young. “Academentia: the Organization Insanity of the Modern University”. CounterPunch. 28 July 2021.
- Organizing for Power, Rosa Luxemborg-Stiftung.
About the Anastasia, Emily and Pan, and the La Trobe Casuals Network
- La Trobe University Casuals Network.
- Casualised, Unemployed & Precarious Uni Workers AU
- A New NTEU on Twitter.
- Anastasia Kanjere on Twitter.
- Emily Foley on Twitter.
About Ben Habib, host of Edge Dwellers Cafe
- Ben@Earth: https://drbenjaminhabib.com/
- LTU staff profile: https://scholars.latrobe.edu.au/bhabib
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrBenjaminHabib
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2oPQqZhJ8CAPbNqIDlf8_g
- ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3087-4828
Support Edge Dwellers Cafe
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- Logo design: Sarah Cook Design (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Thumbnail artwork developed using Deep Art Effects.
- Intro music: “Lala Bass” by Adele_Newiron from Pixabay.
- Interlude music: “Relax (Drum and Bass)” by vjgalaxy from Pixabay.
- Interlude music: “Centyś – Energy 4” by abctoja from Pixabay.
- Interlude voice-over by Jess Love (https://www.jesslovefilmmaker.com/).
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.