UWA’s mega-$10.6 million wage theft exposed

National Tertiary Education Union

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has called for urgent reform after the University of Western Australia (UWA) admitted to at least $10.6 million in wage theft.

UWA on Thursday revealed superannuation underpayments, affecting 2700 existing and 5500 former employees.

The figure is expected to rise when the university completes a review of potential wage theft from casual staff later in the year.

It is the latest wage theft scandal to rock Australian universities, which have stolen more than $170 million from almost 110,000 staff in recent years.

NTEU UWA Branch President Dr Sanna Peden said:

“UWA staff have every right to be angry about more than $10 million in unpaid superannuation entitlements stretching back more than a decade,” she said.

“We know this multi-million dollar wage theft is only likely to get worse with management looking into possible underpayment of casual staff.

“The fact that WA’s richest university has presided over $10 million in wage theft shows an urgent need for state and federal governments to come down hard on the executives responsible.

“The NTEU will do everything in our power to ensure staff are repaid in full for this egregious behaviour.”

NTEU Acting WA Division Secretary Dr Scott Fitzgerald said:

“Australia’s universities are robbing workers blind as part of a shameful business model that thrives on exploitation,” he said.

“The time for more excuses and insincere apologies is over. Vice-chancellors must admit this systemic disgrace has poisoned higher education and commit to major changes.

“It’s clear that federal and state governments’ expectation that universities become exemplary employers is being ignored.

“The only way we can stop the wage theft epidemic is by ending the insecure work crisis and fixing universities’ broken governance model.”

/Public Release.