Australian Catholic U to cut 100 positions

Just weeks after committing to pay rises ACU reveals it is budgettng $30m savings for ’23, including 106 FTE fewer professional staff positions

The university attributes its “significant budget challenge” to “a range of factors,” including lower enrolments.

To balance the ’23 budget, management will reduce professional staff costs by $16.3m, a reduction of 106 FTE, accounting for 8.2 per cent of the workforce. This will align with the “academic staff profile and sector benchmarking.”

Chief Operating Officer Stephen Weller and Interim Provost Meg Stuart will oversee the “recovery transition.”

The university has a proposed enterprise bargaining agreement (CMM November 2) that includes a 14.55 per cent pay rise over three years plus improvements in conditions.

So, CMM asked what would the savings target have been with a different payrise?

The university did not answer, stating “the successful resolution of a new EBA after comprehensive negotiations has been factored in to the recovery transition program.  The EBA balances salary expectations, with high inflation and lower domestic enrolments. We will be approaching difficult budget decisions with the intention of achieving the same sort of fair, balanced and sustainable outcome.”

CMM understands the National Tertiary Education Union only learned of the savings plan last week, long after management’s final EB offer.  Branch president Leah Kaufmann said yesterday that the union, “will support members to ensure that the  approach taken by the university through the pandemic period, including a large number of new appointments, return to travel, and the reopening of the Rome campus, will not become a burden of staff via increased work resulting from a reduced workforce.”