Australian Catholic U staff say not so fast on cuts plan

The university’s Senate is set to sign-off but the union wants it to wait

Management’s October response to COVID-19 includes a $42m reduction in staff costs (38 per cent of total savings) by 2022 but rules out voluntary redundancies, which, “do not deliver the scale of savings required.” (CMM October 16).

Now 531 staff have signed a National Tertiary Education Union submission urging the university’s Senate to defer a decision when it meets today week because the “recovery budget” is acknowledged by management to be a worst-case response, which may not be necessary.

ACU staff have taken every opportunity to express their lack of confidence in, objections to, and distress about the “Recovery” budget prior to its demonstrated necessity,” NTEU branch president Leah Kaufmann writes senate members.

Dr Kaufmann adds deferring the budget, “also allows for prudent and collaborative recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 to be led by our incoming VC, Zlatko Skrbis.”

Unless, of course, outgoing VC Greg Craven has already run the plan past Professor Skrbis, who starts in January (CMM August 7).