“Quantify then rectify” La Trobe U responds to casual pay failings

La Trobe U got its casual pay ducks in a row at the end of the year. Despite no claims from people saying they had been underpaid, it asked people who thought they might have been to get in touch, (CMM December 11)

By February nine claims were received and the university confirmed it was cooperating with the Fair Work Ombudsman, “on their request around the self-reporting of potential underpayments,” (CMM March 12.

But now the ducks must be passing out on parade because six months later, and after an independent audit the university still does not know, “the scale of any potential underpayment.”

However, VC John Dewar tells staff the audit, “has identified some issues with our current systems and processes which may have led to underpayment of some casual staff.”

The university will now run “a deep analysis” “to quantify, then rectify, any underpayments that may have occurred” in the last six years.

Problems LT U is addressing include.

* unclear Enterprise Agreement terminology on hours worked

* formulas used to calculate hours for marking

* Schools not providing management-approved casual staff contracts

* admin issues in the payroll system

* PhD-qualified casuals not being paid the rate that applies  

Professor Dewar says sorting all out will take time, but “correcting any underpayments is our priority and will be completed as soon as possible.”