Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Australian compulsory membership dead and buried

Fascinating developments in Australia and great news for voluntary membership supporters in New Zealand.

In the lead up-up to Australia's November 24 election, then Opposition spokesman Stephen Smith ruled out repealing the Liberal's voluntary membership law, saying, "We will allow students to voluntarily organise themselves."

Australian Labor uphold freedom of association while Labour in this country continue to trash it.

And this weekend just gone, NUS, the National Union of Students, (equivalent to NZUSA) has abandoned any attempt to reinstate compulsory membership.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that, "Angus McFarland, who is the president-elect of the National Union of Students, said students now recognised that the old system was imperfect and it was difficult for the union to argue on the one hand that students should be paying for their services and on the other that the cost of tuition was too high."

"A lot of students started university resenting their student organisations - now that's completely not in our best interests," Mr McFarland said."

If National introduces voluntary membership in New Zealand, would Labour and NZUSA give up on it so quickly? I doubt it. Compulsory membership is too important to Labour. Just look at the backgrounds of many of their new candidates.



At Wed Jan 30, 03:46:00 AM 2008, Blogger FUEL said...

Hey Chris and Mike,

How do I contact you?

I'm putting my foot down about paying student union fees and am predictably unable to enroll in my Honours year as a result.

To wit, the university staff had never heard of the clauses in the Education Act 2000 - so much for the information being freely available before enrollment.

Some PR advice would be appreciated, fast.

At Fri Feb 01, 02:34:00 AM 2008, Blogger Mike Heine said...

I think most Uni's find it easier to ignore the Act as it's, well, the lazier option.
Flick me an email - - and we'll see what's up.


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