La Trobe University is expected to cut up to 300 jobs under a change plan to be released in mid-July, despite already accepting over 300 voluntary redundancies and significantly reducing their casual workforce since the beginning of the pandemic.
In total, the expected job losses will equate to a loss of 15% of La Trobe’s pre-COVID permanent workforce.
NTEU La Trobe Branch President Alysia Rex expressed disappointment that “La Trobe is choosing forced redundancies without exhausting all other options.”
“Staff have shown great loyalty and sacrifice over the past year, including temporary reductions in pay and conditions, and we deserve better.”
In 2020, La Trobe posted a deficit of $8.45 million. In the same year, it spent $20 million terminating academic staff, and a further $25 million in termination payments to non-academic staff. The University doubled its expenditure on external consultants in 2020.
La Trobe Vice Chancellor Professor John Dewar, who is also the Chairman of peak body Universities Australia, has anticipated that financial results for 2021 are likely to be significantly worse, with international students still unable to return to campuses.
The NTEU has circulated a petition calling on Professor Dewar to find alternate means to involuntary redundancies, review the university’s use of external consultants, and reduce the “excessive salaries and bonuses of executive staff.”
La Trobe was contacted for comment but failed to respond.