A charter of rights for casual academics

A charter of rights for casual academic staff has been nailed to the door (yes, literally) of the iconic Forgan Smith building at the University of Queensland.

“We are casually employed but there is nothing casual about the injustice of our situation. We are dedicated teachers and committed researchers. We are the backbone of the university system in Australia, but this system is inefficient and unfair for everyone. We deserve better than this,” it states.

The charter calls for casuals to be paid for all the hours they work but demands are not financially focused, addressing the way people in the precariate are variously ignored and under-valued in the university community. Many, most, of the demands in the charter would have no, or marginal financial impact, such as participation in academic operating unit governance, and access to libraries and IT resources. And others are based on the needs of workers as opposed to the convenience of budgeters; “work performed by casual academics must be made as stable and predictable as possible.”

All up the contents of the charter constitute a question for UoQ management, if the demands cannot be enacted, why not. Maybe they could nail a reply to the door of Forgan Smith.


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