50 signatures reached
To: VC John Dewar
Protect casual workers
Sign the petition in support of workers at LTU
Why is this important?
Over the past decades universities have come to rely upon casual and fixed-term staff to perform essential teaching, research and service roles. At La Trobe University over 70% of staff are not on ongoing contracts. University workers on casual, sessional and fixed-term contracts are bearing the brunt of cuts universities are making in response to COVID19-related revenue deficits.
On 16 April 2020 La Trobe University communicated to all staff that due to from 1 May 2020, casuals will only be retained if they are deemed “essential”. This has led to significant job losses and loss of hours for causal staff, with many more still waiting in limbo to be informed about the future of their positions.
We condemn the sacking of casual staff. Casual redundancies are projected to potentially save LTU around $1 million, less than 1% of the projected revenue deficit of $120-150 million. Casual redundancies will therefore have only a marginal impact on addressing overall revenue deficit, but the loss of these positions will have a number of significant impacts including on:
• the mental health & financial wellbeing of LTU casuals who have lost their jobs and who face the uncertainty of potentially losing their jobs. Many casuals will face considerable financial hardship, especially given the ineligibility of university workers to access JobKeeper.
• the student experience and the quality of teaching and learning at La Trobe University, given that the loss of causal jobs necessarily will translate to larger class sizes, the cutting of subjects, especially electives and the reduction of student services;
• the workload of remaining staff at La Trobe University who will invariably be asked to pick up additional work to compensate for cuts;
We, the undersigned, condemn the sacking of casual staff at La Trobe University and call on La Trobe University to recognise all the work casuals do is essential and protect their hours and conditions during this difficult time. Those of us who have ongoing roles commit to not taking on work that would otherwise be allocated to casual or fixed term staff – recognising that doing so harms the quality of our teaching and/or research as well as enabling the University to take work from our most precarious colleagues.