Union calls out FedUni mismanagement over latest plan to slash jobs

National Tertiary Education Union

The National Tertiary Education Union has warned FedUni’s newly released plan to slash jobs will inflame the university’s financial problems.

FedUni Vice-Chancellor Duncan Bentley this week confirmed he was pushing ahead with the “Future Fed” cuts despite widespread community opposition.

A change paper released on Wednesday confirms most of the cuts will be applied to FedUni’s professional staff, who provide critical support to other staff and students.

The plan proposes cutting 105 roles on top of more than 40 positions removed earlier in the year.

The change paper argues the cuts are necessary to make FedUni financially sustainable, however the proposal does not address the core issue facing the institution: declines in enrolments and difficulties retaining students.

“FedUni management is trying to address a revenue issue by cutting costs,” said Dr Mathew Abbott, President of the NTEU Branch at FedUni. “The problem is that these mass cuts only stand to exacerbate our revenue problems, making our university a less attractive place to study by undermining the quality of our programs and student support.”

These cuts represent the fifth round of mass redundancies at the institution in the past five years, with 64 positions cut in 2020, 28 cut in 2021, 44 cut in 2022, and 18 cut in 2023. This week’s change paper proposes to disestablish a senior Provost position that was created only last year in a previous restructure. In 2022, FedUni management cut its Arts program only to reinstate it two weeks later after a successful NTEU campaign.

“Chaotic decision making and distressing levels of job insecurity are taking their toll on staff at our institution, and these negative impacts are simultaneously felt by our students whose learning conditions are undermined as staff working conditions are,” said Dr Abbott. “Staff members feel that the future of our university is under threat.”

/Public Release.