150 jobs to go at Western Sydney U in one of many admin restructures

People out of a job could start to depart before Christmas

The long-awaited school support plan at WSU is out, in the form of a discussion paper, along the lines of November’s brief to staff (CMM November 25).

The proposal involves centralising services, with school based administration to be focused on specific management, teaching and research support functions.

These changes are part of a broad Shared Services programme which reallocates activity across 14 support functions following a long review by consultants Deloitte. They are necessary, HR director Susan Hudson told staff Friday to ensure, “improved long-term financial stability and facilitation of a culture of ongoing continuous improvement.”

The plan leaves all nine school managers in place and either makes no change or directly places occupants of 20 present positions. It also creates 59 new permanent jobs. However, 152 jobs are discontinued. Many staff whose jobs are gone will also find positions they can apply for set at a lower pay grade.

Staff whose jobs are abolished and do not secure a new role will be kept on in existing roles until the end of November. What happens then, is not spelt out, perhaps because the plan is presented “for consultation” and management may not want the campus union to begin the process towards industrial action just yet. Certainly, there is no mention of redundancies, which may mean people displaced from schools scrambling for a job in other restructured areas well into next year. Then again, they may find themselves redundant.

“It’s a case of musical chairs, but with very fewer chairs” a WSU observer says.

Despite the size of the cuts the estimated saving is cited at $1.8m, although there is no indication if this is a on-off or recurrent.