Deakin U challenged on academic casuals pay

The National Tertiary Education Union claims they are not being paid by the book

For months the union has been organising evidence of casual academics being paid a piece rate for marking, which it argues  breaches the DU enterprise agreement. The comrades point to hourly rates set for marking specified in the EA, $57.40 for people with a PhD.

The agreement also states (Appendix G) that while faculties can “maintain a set of guidelines that reflect reasonable expectations for academic feedback, marking and grading … this will not limit the requirement to pay staff members according to the work performed.”

The union now calls on the university to, “cease calculating pay by word count or related metric and commence paying all academic staff by the actual hours worked.”  The NTEU also wants a management-union committee “to investigate and quantify past marking underpayments.”

This sort of dispute is not unique to Deakin U, – piece rates were long an issue at La Trobe U (CMM January 31). Payment of casuals in general has attracted the attention of the Fair Work Ombudsman and Senate inquiries. The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency has raised the issue twice with universities twice in the last 12 months (CMM October 11 2021 and May 16).

A DU spokesperson tells CMM, “Deakin is committed to ensuring the application of our Enterprise Agreement is true and correct across our organisation. … we will work with the union and follow the processes outlined in the EA to understand the specific issues raised.”