What casual academics should be paid – it’s not always what they get

Casual academics at the University of Melbourne are counting the hours they actually work and comparing them with the time management pays them for

This is a big issue at universities across the country, the National Tertiary Education Union suggests not paying people for hours worked is “wage theft.” Postgrads and other casual teachers regularly say that to do their jobs properly means working way more hours than management pays for.  But it seems aggrieved members of the precariat in the arts faculty at Uni Melbourne are now doing more than complaining, compiling hard numbers on hours it takes to teach and presumably provide students with support.  Word is that 300 casual academics are effected.

At UWA the union claims casuals are being underpaid  

The campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union has launched an industrial dispute, claiming management has not acted on underpayment of casuals. The union’s Rachel Smith states there are reports of casual academics being underpaid for a range of reasons, including incorrect work classifications and that there are cases of tutors, “being paid only a fraction of the applicable tutorial rate for tutorial work.”

Union branch president Sanna Peden calls on the university to audit casual appointments from 2013, issue back pay and correct current classifications. “Conducting a full audit is necessary to rectify the processes and practices that have allowed the exploitation of casual academics to become entrenched in the operations of the university,” Dr Peden says.


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