150 – 300 jobs to go as University of Wollongong feels COVID-19 impact
Community assemblies were held at Wollongong, Batemans Bay, Bega, Shoalhaven and Moss Vale campuses early this morning to protest the job cuts proposed by University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor, Paul Wellings.
In a live webcast, Wellings presented three options to staff as a means to cope with UOW’s $90 million budget shortfall due to the COVID-19 crisis. Much of the loss has been attributed to a steep decline in the number of international students.
Two of the three options would mean a change to current enterprise agreements by reducing pay on a sliding scale by 5% and 10% for 18 months, or between 7.5% and 15% for 12 months. Staff will be given the option to reduce their work hours in accordance.
The third option retains pay and conditions provided under UOW’s existing enterprise agreement, however, this option could result in double the amount of jobs lost.
Staff will have the opportunity to consider the 3 options, ask questions and confer with their managers before indicating their preference in an anonymous survey conducted by an independent survey provider, the Voice Project. Results will be presented to staff on completion of the survey.
This comes after Vice-Chancellor Paul Wellings recently rejected a National Job Protection Framework negotiated nationally with National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU).
In response, UOW staff have started a “Save Our University” campaign.
Prof Wellings said UOW must restore long-term financial sustainability while preparing for a post-COVID-19 world.