La Trobe U not sorted on paying back casuals

Last June La Trobe U identified “some issues with our current systems and processes which may have led to underpayment of some casual staff” and promised to “quantify, then rectify any underpayments that may have occurred (CMM June 18).

It followed the Fair Work Ombudsman asking La Trobe about casual staff pay (CMM March 12 2021).

Management is still working on issues and the union is not happy.

According to the National Tertiary Education Union, for years LT U paid casual academic staff a piece rate for marking rather than enterprise agreement specified rates, which are based on time and complexity.

Management says it “is working within its collective agreement to resolve a dispute in relation to casual staff marking payment. A date has been set for the university to meet with the NTEU to discuss the matter.”

But the union has specifics it wants adopted, including management stopping work on a formula to set what people are owed, asking individuals to provide evidence of underpayment and for the “vice chancellor to, “publish a written apology to all casual staff.”

Which is what Uni Melbourne VC Duncan Maskell did over a casual underpayment issue last year, referring to ““a systemic failure of respect from this institution for those valued, indeed vital employees,” (CMM September 10).