All but one Victorian universities rely on the precariat
The Victorian Government has required universities to identify the employment status of staff in annual reports. An analysis of the reports by the National Tertiary Education Union shows over 70 per cent of all employees are fixed term or casuals at Monash U, Melbourne U and La Trobe U.
The figures for Deakin U, RMIT, Swinburne U and Victoria U are all above 60 per cent. Only Federation U employs a big majority, just under 70 per cent, of permanent staff. And there are significantly more women than men in the precariat at every university, excepting Swinburne U and RMIT.
“It’s about what is happening over a period of time –effecting the whole of the sector,” NTEU federal president Alison Barnes said yesterday.
Back in 2008 Rob Castle, then DVC A at the University of Wollongong told CMM (in another incarnation), “in many ways the lifestyle of the traditional teaching (and) research academic is totally dependent on the contribution of sessional staff, in the way that Victorian middle-class lifestyles were dependent on the domestic servant.” (CMM September 12 2014). Of-course, there are not as many securely employed teaching-research staff now as there where back then.