National News

Threat to withhold exam marks at Tas uni

Students at the University of Tasmania could have their classes cancelled and end of semester exam marks withheld as part of beefed-up industrial action by staff.

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), which represents staff at the state's major university, has been involved in a 14-month dispute with the university over pay and working conditions.

The union this month wrote to students saying a ban on teaching and communicating marks is being considered.

But representatives of the student body say it would have a crippling effect.

"Many students are already highly stressed about university results," Tasmania University Union Council president Clark Cooley said.

"Withholding them will have immeasurable effects on their wellbeing and mental health.

"While students start to prepare for end of year exams the last thing they need to worry about is university staff not undertaking their responsibilities."

It's understood the NTEU would have to inform the university by early November if staff were not going to process marks from end of semester exams.

UTAS's website says semester two results are released on November 29.

A ban on teaching appears less likely, with classes for the year to end on October 20.

NTEU secretary Kelvin Michael said it was "unfortunate" students could be impacted but many were in favour of the move.

"There is direct support from a lot of students who empathise with teachers," he told AAP.

The union has held around 40 meetings with UTAS management since August last year.

Sticking points include superannuation contributions, the ability for staff to control their workload, job security and access to services including family violence support, Mr Michael said.

UTAS has been contacted for comment.

© AAP 2017

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