-The University of New South Wales recognises academic freedom in its Code of Conduct and protects freedom of mind in its Academic Staff Agreement (clause 23). -The current Australian National University company agreement protects academic freedom (clause 21). Some staff at the University of Melbourne will go on strike today. The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) says the strike is over two issues, one of which is academic freedom. The other is management`s attempt to develop two separate company agreements, one for academic staff and the other for professional staff. The union argues that the university is trying to remove the current protection of academic and intellectual freedom from the agreement. If this is true, this may be the first time a strike has taken place at an Australian university over this particular topic. Branch president Steve Adams says the union rejected a management initiative for separate agreements for academic and professional staff and ended the “withdrawal of academic freedom from the agreement” (management has long argued that the university expressly protects freedom of expression). These agreements have helped protect academic freedom, also known as intellectual freedom, in all Australian universities, often by combining governance policies and corporate agreements. However, the management proposes to change the terminology of the company agreement from the current recognition of freedom of mind as a fundamental principle of the university (Article 10) to a shorter recognition of the University`s obligation of academic freedom, as provided for in its Council regulations. -The University of Adelaide also protects academic freedom in its current Corporate Agreement (clause 2.6). Now is the time to broaden the understanding of academic freedom and institutionally support its status. Any attempt to remove the principle of academic freedom from staff company agreements should be interpreted in such a way as to dilute their protection.
But it seems that there is little chance of this happening, regardless of the union`s demands. Adams also says he is making gains on the union`s goals across the country, including improving job security for casual and fixed-term employees and improving dismissal provisions. Management`s agreement to extend superannuation by 17 percent to all permanent employees is in line with the results of negotiations at other universities. -The University of Sydney has an Academic Freedom Charter and also protects freedom of mind in its current company agreement (clause 315). . . .