The University seemingly set out to investigate casuals’ wage theft without a specific plan to speak with casuals. The University has since disputed this claim.
The protest follows mounting rebukes of managements’ treatment of casual staff, including investigations into wage theft across 21 universities.
Monash avoided classifying the issue as wage theft, instead using the term “unintentional underpayments.”
The committee heard casualisation had negative impacts on academic freedom, the student experience, and the wellbeing of casual employees.
Staff are demanding renumeration for six years of unpaid marking and administration work.
The ACNC statistics are alarming: in 2020, the workforce in NSW public universities shrunk by over 13,000.
“It seems that everyone now knows systematic underpayment occurs in Australian universities — everyone, that is, except our managers.”
Claims of wage theft were referred to as “a mistaken belief that casual academic staff are entitled to be paid for any time spent at their discretion and choice.”
“Once again the University's response appears very much to be 'why pay your staff correctly when legally you can get away with underpaying them?'”
Critics have said that the apology is not enough.