NTEU mulls action as USyd delays casual contracts

Dude, where's my contract?

Photoshop - dude where's my car actors in front of the Quad

Casual staff who commenced work this year at the University of Sydney are yet to receive their contracts, despite having already worked for two or more weeks this semester.

Honi has seen an email sent to staff from the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) Sydney University branch on Thursday, noting that the branch has had an influx of staff members contacting them regarding the delay.

The ‘NTEU USyd Casuals’ Network Survey,’ which is still open, recorded that more than half of current casual workers who had responded began their position this semester without a contract. Of those, 44% are still yet to receive contracts.

The NTEU believes that the total backlog in the University’s Human Resources centre may be in the hundreds. They noted this has occurred for at least the last three to four years, with the University seemingly unable to cope with the influx of new staff at the beginning of each academic year, amounting to what is now a ‘systemic’ problem.

The NTEU is in discussion with the University, stating in the email that they will be “writing to the Chief Human Resources Officer about this situation, […] seeking both urgent action to address the backlog, and medium-term action to ensure that this is the last semester [that this occurs].” Additionally, the NTEU has planned the launch of a ‘best practice’ guide for contracting casual staff.

A University spokesperson told Honi that the NTEU has formally informed the University of sixteen staff members who have experienced contract delays. They told Honi that “administration staff prepare contracts on advice from hiring managers,” and the delays are due to “a narrowing of the time between hiring manager notification and staff commencement, which has shortened the available administrative turn-around window.”