Union rally seeks better unis deal

About 500 unionists have rallied in Canberra as part of a national day of action.

A union rally in Canberra has called for senators to stand firm in opposition to higher fees for universities.

About 500 unionists rallied outside Parliament House on Wednesday as part of a national day of action.

While many were concerned about workplace issues such as penalty rates and the minimum wage, National Tertiary Education Union national president Jeannie Rea spoke at the rally on university fee deregulation.

The government's bill is set to be debated in the Senate next week.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne is seeking six crossbench senator votes to pass the bill, given the Labor and Greens opposition to it.

Ms Rea said she believed the bill would be rejected by the Senate.

She said the move by the government on Wednesday to increase the pay deal for Defence personnel - which independent senator and unis bill opponent Jacqui Lambie has been seeking - would not influence Senator Lambie.

"I have more faith in Jacqui Lambie taking a principled position on higher education, which she has to date," Ms Rea told AAP.

"She understands deregulation is about $100,000 degrees for the rich, and the rest of the families and people will end up with a second-rate education."

Ms Rea said senators from regional areas also recognised the laws would harm universities in their cities.

Source AAP

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