Uni staff fear jobs’ axe

EDITORIAL:Uni must be fair with staff

STAFF at Wodonga’s La Trobe University campus are living in fear and anxiety following the announcement last week about 350 jobs will be axed across the state.

A La Trobe spokesman yesterday said it would be months before it was clear how each campus would be affected.

And National Tertiary Education Union president Virginia Mansel Lees said minimal information about where the cuts would fall had created uncertainty.

“Staff are left wondering whether they’ll be the ones to go,” she said.

“This uncertainty is probably the hardest thing to deal with.

“Thinking you might be one to go is not a good thing.”

The university said on Friday about 350 jobs would be axed to find $65 million to spend on university operations.

Ms Mansel Lees said there would not be voluntary redundancy and specific staff would be targeted.

“The university knows exactly who is going to go and it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be those late in their career and are prepared to go,” she said.

“Unfortunately, staff won’t have a choice.”

Ms Mansel Lees said with many students starting their studies at the campus this year, she did not believe courses would be abolished.

“It looks like people from some subjects could be cut rather than a course,” she said.

“I don’t think we are in a position to lose courses but reality could look a lot different.”

She said her union would be fully involved in the process to ensure people were treated appropriately and received their entitlements.

Yesterday marked the first day for the academic year and Ms Mansel Lees said staff were wondering whether they would teach out their subject.

“The staff feel strongly about the issue and morale is not great.”

The La Trobe spokesman said the university was investigating how it could restructure.

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