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To: Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt, Australian National University
Stop the cuts at ANU: NO mass sackings!
Massive job losses have been announced at ANU, including 250 voluntary redundancies that have already been taken and with the foreshadowing of forced redundancies. These job losses will impact the workload of the remaining staff who will still need to cover the workload of the staff who are no longer working at ANU. This number does not seem to include casual staff who are not having their contracts renewed.
Why is this important?
In the VCs financial update forum on the 16th of September on the university's financial position Brian Schmidt was asked Why ANU is cutting nearly as many staff as UNSW when ANU has a smaller workforce and is in a better financial situation. In response, Schmidt said that this is to "reshape ANU in response" to the pandemic and not just to purely cut numbers.
Vice-Chancellors always tell us that job losses are necessary though it is always jobs and wages that are the first to be cut, without looking for other means to maintain staff such as borrowing against their assets. The ANU has the financial capital to cover the pandemic-related losses, but they are making the choice not to do this as it will increase financial risk.
Students should have a say over what their education looks like. We reject the way that universities are run like businesses, and we think that education should not be for profit. The ANU should not cut staff numbers and erode working conditions to maintain a budget surplus. Education should be for all, not just for the rich.