No insurance for Qld research students

Queensland postgrads work hard but aren’t workers

Workcover Queensland appears to have given up its claim that higher degree students with research stipends are workers and as such universities should pay premiums for compensation insurance. The agency based its plan to slug the state’s universities on the basis of a CQU research student’s claim. (CMM July 8).

This caused conniptions on campuses across the state and the Australian Higher Education Industrial Association accordingly armoured-up to fight the ruling for each of its members. But before Christmas the Queensland Office of Industrial Relations conceded AHEIA’s appeal that the CQU student wasn’t a worker. AHEIA now asks the state’s workers’ compensation regulator to apply this to all universities. Observers suggest university HR managers are “quietly confident.”