The University of Wollongong (UOW) refuses to address health and safety concerns of staff members as the threat of coronavirus brings the institution to a standstill.
On Monday, UOW announced it would transition classes to 'remote delivery' (online-learning) to combat the spread of COVID-19, as well as to protect staff and students.
The university released a statement advising staff will be trained in remote delivery over the next two weeks. The online teaching method has been implemented in many institutions over the past week.
However, there are concerns the university has failed to provide adequate resources to ensure compliance with health and safety measures put in place by the NSW government.
Although online learning may eliminate this issue, students have been using shared facilities at the university over the past week, while cases of the virus in the region have been on the rise.
UOW student Hannah Telfer said she observed a teacher 'wiping down the chairs, tables and computer keyboards' before she could enter the room.
"We were told not long after that our teacher actually had to bring her own sanitiser and disinfectant from home." Hannah said.
Another spokesperson at the NTEU said the issue was raised with management but nothing has been done.
The university has also failed to ensure wage support for casual staff needing to self-isolate for any reason.
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) have launched a petition calling on vice-chancellors to guarantee special paid leave for all staff impacted by coronavirus.
Professor Georgine Clarsen, the UOW branch president for the NTEU said the university's response is lacking in comparison to other institutions.
"There has been no assurance to casual staff that they will continue paying wages for a certain period of time if, for any reason, they lose income because of the virus," she said.
"They simply invite staff to ring the hotline and explain their circumstances, which is not an assurance anyone can pay their rent with.
"We are asking the vice-chancellor to match what other universities such as Macquarie and Sydney have already offered to their staff."
Approximately 75% of staff at the university are in 'insecure work', this includes both teaching and administrative workers.
The university is not required to pay casual staff sick leave, but many organisations have provided extra funding for casuals affected by coronavirus. Woolworths are offering two weeks pay to all staff forced to self-isolate.
A spokesperson from UOW said the university understands the concerns felt by staff and has support arrangements in place.
"To date, no casual staff member's employment had been impacted and we are expected these staff to play an important role in remote delivery," the spokesperson said.
"UOW is putting arrangements in place to minimise impacts on casual staff by COVID-19 and to support them according to individual need.
"If they are experiencing hardship they are being encouraged to contact UOW's COVID-19 staff enquiry line for advice."
The UOW branch of NTEU hosted a silent protest at Wollongong campus this morning.
"We're asking the vice-chancellor to match what other universities such as Sydney and Macquarie are doing," Professor Clarsen said.
"Our casual workers have committed to working those hours and we ask the university to honour that commitment by making sure their incomes aren't cut suddenly through no fault of their own."