Casual staff often miss out on professional development and feel isolated and invisible. Team teaching helps support these staff while improving the continuity and quality of university teaching.
Universities have legitimate reasons for employing some staff on casual contracts, but the impacts of the COVID pandemic have brought long-standing problems to a head. Now is the time to act on these.
More than a dozen Australian universities have been publicly accused of underpaying staff. Some have paid millions in backpay after audits. And a big factor in wage theft is the rise of casualisation.
Universities have financial resources — property, bequests and philanthropic funds, and access to lines of credit — they can access rather than forcing staff to sacrifice their jobs.
The National Tertiary Education Union has agreed to a deal with universities that aims to save at least 12,000 jobs. But universities aren’t obliged to sign up.
Hundreds of casual academics have lost work in the COVID-19 crisis. They make up the majority of the teaching workforce at universities but they don’t quality for any government assistance.
Academics in precarious employment struggle to feel a strong sense of self.
Academics on casual contracts often feel vulnerable and of lower status than “permanent” staff members. They can minimise their exploitation as if it’s part of the authentic academic experience.
Casual academics provide flexibility for universities at a time when student numbers are uncertain.
The higher education sector may be the the third largest employer of casual staff in Australia. More cuts to universities mean the use of casual academics could increase further.
What are the alternative options for higher education to flourish in Australia?
A crisis of sustainability is building up as universities continue to drift towards a more privatised system. It’s time we started looking at alternative options.
The recent cuts to universities are only likely to make the health problem growing in the academic community worse.
Stressed academic image www.shutterstock.com
The consensus on the recent A$2.3 billion funding cuts to the tertiary sector is they will do more harm than good. Plenty of commentators foresee diminishing quality of teaching and research, possible…
University managers are concerned that students are dropping out because they do not receive enough support from overworked casual staff.
University students are often in the care of casual staff who have not been inducted into the job, receive no support or professional development, and do not have an office, an inquiry will hear today…
Overstretched casuals hold little hope of getting more secure work.
Casual academics are deeply pessimistic about the prospect of ongoing employment, according to a study that shows only one in four are confident of taking on a continuing contract in the next five years…