Ensuring the right rate for casual staff  

The push continues for universities to pay them correctly

As the world was gearing down for Christmas, La Trobe U management was revving up an investigation into the possibility of casual staff being underpaid.

This was very wise indeed, given the LT U Casuals Network has just made a submission to the Senate committee inquiring into job security.  The Network claims (via Twitter), underpayment of casuals is “systemic and widespread” at LT U and a “systematic, transparent and accountable investigation” is required.

Which management will likely respond is what it is undertaking. “While La Trobe U has not been made aware of systemic underpayment issues relating to our staff, it goes without saying that it is important that we pay our casual staff fairly and correctly,” acting HR ED Emma Hardy said in December.  She asked casual staff to submit pay records and assured them the university “will objectively review claims and will rectify any errors that are found,” (CMM December 11).

LT U joins universities that appear to have anticipated Senate interest by checking they are paying staff the right rate for the jobs they actual do, including Uni Wollongong (CMM September 4) and QUT (CMM August 28)

However, they may not the ones in the sights of senators.

Last year Uni Melbourne had to pay casual teaching staff in maths and stats and computing, who had been paid lower rates than applied under the enterprise agreement (CMM March 27 and May 13).  And it acknowledged some casuals in arts had not been paid for marking, in accord with the university’s enterprise agreement, (CMM June 29).


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