The Australian Catholic University cuts 113 full-time, professional service staff jobs

The cuts are occurring for jobs in campuses across the country, including Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.

The Australian Catholic University is set to cut 113 full-time staff jobs across its campuses nationwide. This includes 40 in Melbourne, 36 in Sydney, and 18 in Brisbane. 

The University has cited a forecast $30 million deficit, and declining enrolments to justify the cuts as reason for the cuts. For instance, the Sydney campus has seen a 23% decline in enrolments.

These cuts will impact professional services staff, as academic jobs numbers are unaffected. 

In an email to ACU staff, Interim Provost Professor Meg Stuart said, “faced with a forecast financial deficit exceeding $30 million, we have been forced to take urgent action to identify savings and balance the budget.

“Among the measures we are considering, we are proposing to reduce professional services staff costs by $16 million (110 FTE positions) in the current academic year.”

Leah Kaufmann, NTEU ACU Branch President, said, “This [the job cuts] is especially disappointing given our staff have delivered, without fail, from the beginning of the pandemic and are already struggling to manage massive overwork.”

The cuts are occurring in the context of a $250 million renovation of the Melbourne campus with the new Saint Teresa of Kolkata building under construction to “accommodate student and staff growth over the next 10 years.”

Kaufmann also said that “ACU has had significant operating surpluses over the past six years of more than $224 million.

“We are dismayed that, having demonstrated such loyalty and having achieved so much (e.g. transitions to online, delivery through changing leadership, support of students), senior management has decided on this course of action. We note that they have done so by ignoring the existing excessive workloads and under staffing, and have proposed to cut more than 110 FTE professional staff roles.”

This article has been amended to include comment from NTEU ACU.

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