Charles Sturt U has debts to pay

Vice Chancellor Renée Leon announces it owes $4.69m to staff underpaid over seven years

The university discovered what it owed  following “an external review into its wage compliance in response to widespread reports of underpayment in the higher education sector.”

She adds the university’s review was not required by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, the Fair Work Ombudsman or the Australian Taxation Office.

Money owed includes underpaid wages and superannuation.

“The review found no deliberate underpayments of staff occurred” and that they “relate to misclassification of work and minimum engagement.”

Professor Leon states there are now “procedural enhancements”  to “ensure ongoing wage compliance.”

The university does not report the number staff underpaid or their work roles. However the  CSU branch of the National Tertiary Education Union estimates current and former staff owed money since July 2015 will receive an average of $2500.

CSU joins a string of universities reporting underpaying, generally casual staff, over recent years. Last October TEQSA Chief Commissioner Peter Coaldrake stated the agency’s concern at the problem (CMM October 11 2021). In  April the agency set out its expectations for university management, including;

a “comprehensive review of payroll, time and record-keeping practices”

* “clear steps in place to mitigate and manage identified risks”

* “embedding on-going monitoring to ensure continued compliance with workplace laws and reporting to the audit and risk committee”