QUT has confirmed 159 redundancies amid COVID-19. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled
QUT has confirmed 159 redundancies amid COVID-19. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled

Uni staff face axe as redundancies confirmed

Nearly 160 jobs will be made redundant at one of Queensland's top universities as part of a major overhaul that will see some staff retrained or redeployed.

Queensland University of Technology has confirmed 159 staff redundancies, 15 fewer than the 174 that were originally proposed in October.

But the university announced 99 new positions would be created, as well as 41 "retraining" and five "transition" roles on a 12-month fixed term basis.

A university spokeswoman said there would be no forced staff redundancies before June 30, 2021.

"Staff whose positions will be made redundant will be able to start applying for the new positions progressively over the coming months," a spokeswoman said.

QUT vice-chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil today told staff there would be 159 redundancies, with 99 positions created amid the economic impact of COVID-19. Picture: Supplied
QUT vice-chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil today told staff there would be 159 redundancies, with 99 positions created amid the economic impact of COVID-19. Picture: Supplied

It comes after major restructure was first foreshadowed by QUT in July, with the University's formal proposal of changes then opened for staff consultation in October - which received 1350 written submissions.

"Our management of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has aimed to minimise job loss wherever possible, but any job loss is of course regrettable," Professor Sheil said.

National Tertiary Education Union Queensland secretary Michael McNally said while the scale of impact at QUT was moderate in comparison to other universities, the redundancies would be personally devastating for those affected.

"At QUT it looks like the net impact is going to be about 60 ongoing jobs but it's important to remember at least hundreds of people that have lost casual and fixed term work, if not thousands," he said.

Mr McNally said the restructuring at QUT, among other institutions, came down to a lack of support from the federal government for the impact of COVID-19 on the tertiary sector.

"Universities have been excluded from JobKeeper, and have had no rescue package at all, unlike other industries, despite losing about $4 to 5 billion across the sector this year," he said.

QUT staff had earlier voted to defer a 2.5 per cent pay rise, and reduce working hours, and changed leave entitlements, which Professor Shield said helped manage the scale of changes required.

Originally published as Uni staff face axe as redundancies confirmed


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