The Fair Work Ombudsman is currently investigating 11 universities nationwide for allegedly underpaying their staff.
This comes after a Senate inquiry into wage theft revealed in March that half the nation’s 40 universities have been implicated in staff underpayment.
Meanwhile, analysis of employment data from eight universities in Victoria highlights the growing issue of insecure jobs in the higher education sector. These universities employ nearly 50,000 people in total, and more than half of them are casual or fixed-term jobs:
There are 991 words left in this subscriber-only article.
Get your first month for $1
Analysis of jobs data from eight Victorian universities, including Melbourne and Monash, shows they employ nearly 50,000 people, and more than half of them, both men and women, are in insecure work. At Swinburne and RMIT the proportion exceeds 60 per cent of staff.
In light of the findings, National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) president, Alison Barnes, has called for obscene university vice-chancellor salaries to be halved and capped at $500,000:
“University vice-chancellor and executive wages are obscene,’’ Ms Barnes said.
“They are public institutions, yet the universities have business models that are premised on casualisation and wage theft. Universities need to prioritise staff and students’’.
Ms Barnes said the vice-chancellors of 37 universities averaged $1m salaries.
“That’s extraordinary, and particularly galling in the context of wage theft across the sector,’’ she said. “Their salaries should be capped at $500,000 a year’’…
Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson defended the high pay on Monday.
“Vice-chancellors’ salaries are set by university governing bodies and are subject to carefully conducted benchmarking against similarly large and complex institutions,’’ she said.
While I sympathise with the NTEU, let’s go further and have a Royal Commission into our universities.
These once esteemed institutions have gutted entry and teaching standards to accommodate obscene numbers of international students, cheating by these students is rife, Chinese influence runs rampant, and universities’ casualised workforce are underpaid and bullied into passing low performing foreign students.
The whole sector has become an immigration scam, with universities acting more like migration agents than educators, and vice-chancellors behaving like money-grubbing CEOs.
These institutions have all but ruined their values, reason for being, and licence to operate.
It’s time for a royal commission into the entire stinking edifice.
- Weekend Reading: 13-14 August 2022 - August 13, 2022
- Soaring interest rates trap Aussies in ‘mortgage prison’ - August 12, 2022
- FWO launches action against university wage thieves - August 12, 2022