60 casual staff from the University’s Student Centre were sacked this Friday morning, with many complaining of inadequate notice of termination, and some claiming they had been assured work until December.
The University has denied any such assurance, with a spokesperson describing the casual contracts as “necessarily seasonal”.
“Student needs determine the number of casual shifts available. The workload is currently winding down until the next peak at the end of the year,” they said.
Honi understands many of the sacked employees had worked in administrative roles at the University for a number of years, and were relocated to the Student Centre, in the Jane Foss Russell Building, when student administration was centralised earlier this year.
“It’s a very toxic environment at work at the moment,” said a current employee. “People on the floor don’t really trust management anymore.”
Employees were given notice of their sacking two weeks ago, and officially laid-off this morning.
“Centre management understands some casual employees feel they were not adequately informed, and we are examining ways we can improve our communication in future,” the University spokesperson said.
Staff at the Student Centre are tasked with assisting students with enrolments, fees and academic transcripts.
In addition to the mass lay-off, a senior manager at the Student Centre recently resigned, and the University confirmed they are advertising for a replacement.
A rally last Wednesday included a show of support for the sacked workers and the SRC Education Action Group have started a petition calling on the University to reinstate the jobs.