The University of Canberra plans to cut the professional staff to increase its academic strength and will provide a separation payment to just about everybody who volunteers to go. But this is not, UoC adamantly advises, a voluntary redundancy package. “No positions have been identified as excess to requirements and no positions will be made redundant through the voluntary separation package,” UoC tells CMM.
Good o, but if the university can run its administration with fewer staff than it now has, how can people in positions the university decides it can do without and who aren’t accused of poor performance not be redundant? It’s a question UoC staff who decide to depart might wonder about – a redundancy scheme that meets Australian Tax Office specifications means concessional tax rates for an eligible termination payment.
UoC is not the first university to adopt this approach – “it happens when you have to shed costs fast,” a higher education management expert says. But the observer warns, it risks systems-failure as people who stay struggle to plug gaps created by unexpected consequences of unplanned departures.