Coffs Coast Business, Local

Southern Cross University announces a second round of job cuts

Southern Cross University will axe 63 full time staff and merge academic faculties in a bid to endure the “series of external shocks” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vice Chancellor Professor Tyrone Carlin announced the measures today as part of the university’s plan to ensure the institution remains viable into the future as it deals with what it sates is a budget shortfall of $33 million.

“This is, in part, a response to the really challenging and significant impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, including the loss of international students,” Professor Carlin said in an online address to all staff this morning.

The latest cuts takes the total number of jobs lost at the university this year to at least 134, after 71 staff accepted voluntary redundancies in early September. These 71 staff are due to finish on November 4.

The staff union, the NTEU, estimates that together with the voluntary redundancies a number of other ‘voluntary’ retirements and today’s announced cuts, that from March this year until early next year approximately one in four jobs in the university will have disappeared over that time.

The NTEU is resquesting for full access to SCU’s financial accounts with a spokesperson stating; “many staff believed Covid19, although clearly an issue, was also being used as cover for other matters”.

CCO understands that of the 134 jobs lost 16 are in Coffs Harbour and approximately 105 in Lismore. The remainder will be lost from the Gold Coast campus.

One Comment

  1. Too many years ago, somewhere around the mid to late seventies, I think, the government started the process of turning public primary and secondary school principals into part-time accountants, with a scheme called “global budgeting”. Under the bullshit guise of increased autonomy for schools, the government shelved its obligation for doing anything other than providing finance for schools. As a result, principals who should now exclusively be educational leaders and mentors for staff and students, spend valuable teaching time juggling finance.

    It’s a total and egregious waste of time and talent, and grossly diminishes our education system.

    There is very little, if any, significant merit in an educational institution being required to entirely manage it’s own finances, particularly where funding for teaching and admin staff is concerned. I have no current, specific knowledge of the present system, but I believe that schools are usually funded, and staff allocated, according to student numbers and defined needs. I can’t see why universities can’t be funded in the same way. It seems to me that successive governments have manged to again abrogate responsibility for education, an essential service, and seem to be trying very hard to turn our uni’s into quasi-private enterprises.

    I cannot believe that Scomo has chosen to leave university staff out of the group of workers entitled to Covid-19 financial support. Perhaps it fits with his world view of the true value of education, as opposed to its cost.

    At this point I will consciously and deliberately avoid talking about the fact that education, at every level, should be free to all, forever, and ask that anyone who can correct my current understanding or enhance my knowledge, do so in a comment.

    After all, knowledge is power.

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