Union to all VCs: “reveal use of insecure employment”

Yesterday VC Duncan Maskell apologised over underpayment of Uni Melbourne casuals (scroll down)

In CMM this morning the National Tertiary Education Union calls on all vice chancellors to, grapple “with a critical fact.” “Wage theft in our universities is not a one-off scandal, but an ingrained crisis.”

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

The Research and Development Tax Incentive is indestructible. Kirsty Abbott (CQU) considers what it does and ways it could be better.

plus, Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on relationships between academics and professional staff (M*A*S*H is a good model).

and Lisa Andrewartha (La Trobe U) on the challenges study involves for people with caring responsibilities and how to help them. This week’s piece in Contributing Editor Sally Kift’s celebrated series, Needed Now in Teaching and Learning.

Big in business rankings

Rankings provider QS announces its bized results for “mainly” on-campus masters

The Melbourne Business School (26th) and Uni NSW (36th) are the only Australian universities in the global top 50 in the new MBA/specialist masters ranking. Monash U is 73rd, Macquarie U 84th and Uni Queensland is 94th.

Specialists masters:

Melb Business School is 13th for business analytics. Macquarie U is 32nd on the masters in finance list and 19th for its marketing course. Uni Sydney is 26th for its management masters. Two unis are in the top 50 for supply chain management, UTS – 32nd and Uni Wollongong 38th

Overall, US universities account for 12 of the world top 20 spots with the rest being European and UK institutions.

The ranking is restricted to universities rated by any of the big three bized accreditors and is based on data grouped into five criteria, (employability, entrepreneurship and alumni outcome, ROI, “thought leadership” and student/staff diversity.

Not much joy on jobs

Universities are now required to offer permanent jobs to casual staff who meet time employed and hours worked thresholds –at Uni Sydney few do

The new requirements are in the Fair Work Act and universities are assessing applications now. Key tests people must meet are having been in a position for a year and in a consistent pattern for six months (CMM April 21 and September 7).

Uni Sydney advises that of 4173 total staff assessed, 63 casuals have been offered conversion to continuing employment.

““Given the sessional and seasonal nature of much of our work, the majority of our casual workforce do not have a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis as required by the legislation and therefore did not receive offers,” a university spokesperson told CMM yesterday.

Different Linkage grants

Last week Industry Minister Christian Porter announced a bumper round of CRC-Ps.  This week he had more dosh to dispense

It’s from the Global Innovation Linkages Programme (which only sounds like the ARC’s Linkage Programme). The GILP grants range from $500 000 to $1m and are for research with international partners. Universities win seven of ten; including, RMIT for a “smart prefabricated chamber prevent highly contagious disease” and Uni Adelaide is funded to develop a “scientific variation tool” for timber supply chains.

Uni Queensland has $1m for research to improve mineral, oil and coal processing with partners in Canada and China. Might be a challenge for the PRC to find something to denounce.

Uni Melbourne VC apologises over underpayment of casuals

a systemic failure of respect from this institution for those valued, indeed vital employees,” says Duncan Maskell

The University of Melbourne states it underpaid “more than” 1000 past and present casual academic staff in the faculties of Arts, Fine Arts and Music, Engineering-IT, MedicineDentistryHealth Sciences and Science and has now paid them “around” $9.5m.

The payment process continues for staff in Arts, and Fine-Arts Music for 2014-19 to claim for “previously unreported hours of work for marking and lecture attendance.”

“I give my assurance that the university will continue efforts already underway to fully remediate affected individuals’ claims, and to put in place systems and processes to prevent these under-payments being repeated,” Professor Maskell stated to the university community yesterday.

To which Nick Robinson from the university’s Casuals Network responded that while the apology was welcome management had “dragged their feet kicking and screaming on acknowledging the scale of the problem.”

Professor Maskell adds the university has “prioritised preparatory work” for a new payroll system, plus “mandatory training, guidance notes and employment practice reviews to ensure those with responsibility for engaging casual staff have a clear understanding of, and adherence to, the terms of casual employment.”

This is a win for the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union and casual staff members who have spoken out over the underpayment of casuals for years. But union president Annette Herrera warns the VC’s apology will “ring hollow” without a “significant increase” in the number of now casual staff being converted to “permanent and stable work.”

On your marks

And get set for the Regional Universities Network conference

RUN unis are the heart of their communities, pumping job-generating money into cities, circulating ideas that improve lives and industry and energising the next generation of leaders they educate. How they do it and what they need to do more of it is on their conference agenda.

Appointments, achievements

of the day

 Olivia Humphrey becomes an adjunct professor at Curtin U. She will “contribute” to learning and research and represent the university’s “entrepreneurship activities.” Ms Humphrey is founder of Kanopy, a video streaming service for public libraries and universities.

WA 2021 Young Tall Poppies of science for 2021 include, Eleanor Sansom (Curtin U), Mark Hackett (Curtin U) and Billy Sung (Curtin U).

of the week

 Johan Arberg becomes director of Study Canberra. He moves from ANU.  

Uni Wollongong VC Patricia Davidson receives an Advance Award, which “recognise and celebrate the work of global Australians and alumni of Australian universities.” Professor Davidson is a former dean of nursing at Johns Hopkins U.

Bonnie Dean is the new head of academic development at Uni Wollongong’s Learning, Teaching and Development Centre.

Lorraine Finlay (Murdoch U) is appointed commissioner at the Commonwealth’s Human Rights Commission.

Flinders U announces Bill Damachis as director, International Partnerships, he moves from Swinburne and Simon Brennan as director, Research Development and Support, he joins from Uni Adelaide.

At Uni Melbourne Damian Glass steps up to A/D Strategic Communications.

Grace Karskens (UNSW) wins the NSW Premier’s Australian History Prize for People of the River: Lost worlds of early Australia (Allen and Unwin). Professor Karksens is also joint winner of this year’s Ernest Scott Prize (CMM May 21).from Uni Adelaide.

Uni SA’s Australian Centre for Child Protection wins the research award at the SA Child Protection Awards.

 Uni Southern Queensland announces Tony Dreise will be inaugural PVC, First Nations Education and Research, starting month end. He will join from ANU. As of October 4, Shawn Walker (now Charles Sturt U) will become PVC Engagement 

2021 Young Tall Poppies of science are announced

for South Australia  Linda Armbrecht (Uni Adelaide). Eddie Banks (Flinders U). Yee Lian Chew (Flinders U). Ashley Hopkins (Flinders U). Brenton Hordacre (Uni SA). Alice Jones (Uni Adelaide). Vitomir Kovanovic (Uni SA). Dominic McAfee (Uni Adelaide). Catia Malvaso (Uni Adelaide). Hannah Wardill (Uni Adelaide).

for Tasmania Vanessa Adams (U Tas). Carlie Cullen (U Tas)

Victoria’s include Rebecca Allen (Swinburne U), Linden Ashcroft (Uni Melbourne), Jeremy Barr (Monash U), Victoria Blair (Monash U) Kylie Hesketh (Deakin U) Rachel Hill (Monash U), Florian Mueller (Monash U), Adrienne O’Neil (Deakin U), Freya Shearer (Uni Melbourne), Sarah Stephenson (Murdoch Children’s RI), Jane Tiller (Monash U), James Trauer (Monash U) Fabien Vincent (Monash U),