Taylors College IEU members affected by Novel Coronavirus
The current situation around Novel Coronavirus is having an ongoing effect on the operations of Taylors College. IEU is aware of this, and we are taking whatever steps that we can to ameliorate the situation.
The union has spoken with the principal of the College, and are advised that the College has taken the following precautionary steps:
- The start of term has been delayed by 2 weeks, to allow all students already in Australia to observe the recommended 14-day isolation period.
- There are approximately 1200 Taylors students from China currently in Australia, and they should be fit to resume their studies from next Monday.
- The federal government has imposed a blanket ban on non-citizens arriving from China until the virus outbreak stabilises. It is unclear when this will be lifted, though the current ban will last until 15 February, and then subject to further review. It’s likely that this ban will be extended.
- There are around 800 students from China currently in China, and they will not be able to return until the federal government lifts the ban. We cannot be certain when this will be, but hopefully sooner rather than later.
- This means that the College is currently down on student numbers by around 40%, with no guarantee as to when this might be rectified.
- In the meantime, the College is making use of “remote support” of those students stranded off-shore, with a view to reintegrating them when they can return.
- The College is hopeful that the situation will resolve itself in the next few weeks, and they have not yet made any decisions on what might happen if the current visa situation is extended beyond 4-6 weeks. The principal has stressed that there is no thought of redundancies at this stage.
- If staff are feeling uncomfortable about working in the current environment, then the College would most likely grant any applications for long service leave or leave without pay, as well as any proposals to temporarily scale down teaching loads.
The IEU is comfortable that the College is taking all reasonable steps in the circumstances, and we will continue to monitor the situation. The Novel Coronavirus situation is fluid, and no one can be quite sure how things might end up, though past experience would suggest that it will have a knock-on effect for around 3-6 months. It is likely that the first half of the year will be quite disrupted, but things should get back to normal before too long.
Affected members from the Taylors College chapter should contact IEU Organiser Kendall Warren, if they have any questions or require any assistance.