Secure jobs in universities needed to boost productivity

National Tertiary Education Union

The National Tertiary Education Union welcomes the Productivity Commission’s findings that universities are central to improving productivity but says this can’t be achieved when only one in three university staff are permanently employed.

The Productivity Commission’s 5-year Productivity Inquiry interim report found improving quality teaching would create productivity gains.

NTEU National President Dr Alison Barnes said the Union welcomes this recommendation but in order for this to be achieved, university staff need job security.

“If we want high quality teaching and research then we must invest in those who deliver it,” Dr Barnes said.

“The majority of staff in the tertiary education sector are exploited and overworked.

“Just today it was found 2,526 staff at Charles Sturt University were underpaid by millions of dollars dating back to July 2015.

“Precariously employed staff overworked and having their wages stolen is not conducive to a high quality teaching or research environment.

“Neither are the continual cuts to public funding of higher education. The last government reduced public funding per domestic student place by 14 per cent in 2020.

“The Productivity Commission has recommended changes to workforce structure and now the Albanese Government must follow through.

“We want the federal government to implement recommendations from the ALP-led Senate Select Committee on Job Security inquiry including the introduction of measures to ensure casual conversion in higher education and legislation to criminalise wage theft and chronic underpayments.”

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