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National Tertiary Education Union: A Most Unlikely Union

National Tertiary Education Union: A Most Unlikely Union National Tertiary Education Union: A Most Unlikely Union Book reviews John Michael O’Brien UNSW Press Sydney pp. viii+351 ISBN: 9781742234588 (pbk) Review DOI 10.1108/HER-03-2017-0006 It has become de rigueur in Australian universities to point accusingly at the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) when critiquing contemporary working conditions. John O’Brien’s new history of the NTEU helps us remember first, that Australian universities have in fact been fortunate in its quite effective union. Second, O’Brien’s book further reminds us that neo-liberal policy and widespread casualisation have been imposed not by the union, but by the university management, often aided by government policy. This complex and rich history does not, however, let the union of the hook, through any of its sometimes-controversial decisions. In fact, the warts-and-all account may well be a source of frustration to some who were there, I suspect. This history of university unionism has been long needed in the history of higher education in Australia. Our historiography has focussed on institutions, individually and collectively and on government policy. A history of this third institutional pillar, which has been so central to the Australian university history, has been long lacking. John O’Brien was the right Scholar to fulfil this http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Education Review Emerald Publishing

National Tertiary Education Union: A Most Unlikely Union

History of Education Review , Volume 46 (2): 2 – Oct 2, 2017

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0819-8691
DOI
10.1108/HER-03-2017-0006
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

National Tertiary Education Union: A Most Unlikely Union Book reviews John Michael O’Brien UNSW Press Sydney pp. viii+351 ISBN: 9781742234588 (pbk) Review DOI 10.1108/HER-03-2017-0006 It has become de rigueur in Australian universities to point accusingly at the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) when critiquing contemporary working conditions. John O’Brien’s new history of the NTEU helps us remember first, that Australian universities have in fact been fortunate in its quite effective union. Second, O’Brien’s book further reminds us that neo-liberal policy and widespread casualisation have been imposed not by the union, but by the university management, often aided by government policy. This complex and rich history does not, however, let the union of the hook, through any of its sometimes-controversial decisions. In fact, the warts-and-all account may well be a source of frustration to some who were there, I suspect. This history of university unionism has been long needed in the history of higher education in Australia. Our historiography has focussed on institutions, individually and collectively and on government policy. A history of this third institutional pillar, which has been so central to the Australian university history, has been long lacking. John O’Brien was the right Scholar to fulfil this

Journal

History of Education ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 2, 2017

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