UoW cash-splash for staff (just not casuals)

There is cash coming for some, but not all, staff at the University of Wollongong. Vice Chancellor Paul Wellings has told the university community, “The university wishes to take this opportunity to provide you with a financial boost in the lead up to the holiday season.”

 Permanent and fixed term employees are up for a $1000 one-off payment, “in recognition of your work and contribution.”  Which is nice, although the slow pace of negotiations with the National Tertiary Education Union for a new enterprise agreement might have something to do with the timing. Professor Wellings adds, “despite the university’s best intentions to conclude enterprise bargaining quickly, it has progressed at a slower pace than had been expected and the university doesn’t want staff to be disadvantaged as a result.

While the payment is pro-rated for permanent part-time people, casuals don’t qualify. This strikes some of the 480 UoW casuals (around 20 per cent of total staff) as mean and out of touch. As Alisa Perry, then at UoW and colleagues wrote in a report  for the university “on the contribution of sessional teachers to higher education.” “The ‘full-time, permanent, centrally-located teaching/research academic’ is no longer the norm around which policy and practice can be formed. The changed employment structure is likely to have outgrown existing policy and practice in universities.” That was back in 2008.


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