University to back pay millions to casuals

·1-min read

Thousands of academic casuals will be back paid millions of dollars by Melbourne's RMIT university, following a union dispute.

The National Tertiary Education Union accepted the university's proposal to settle the payment issue, which dates back to 2014.

In June this year the union lodged a dispute that academic casuals were paid at the standard rate of pay per hour for marking, instead of the required academic judgement rate - a difference of between $10 and $20 per hour.

The matter had been referred to the Fair Work Commission in October, but RMIT proposed to settle without admission of liability by increasing each payment to casual academic staff for assessment work since July 2014 to November 2021 to the higher rate.

Estimates of the final bill for the 3900 affected staff are between $7.5 million and $10 million.

"This outcome is a result of months and months of hard work, with brave members coming forward to share their stories of how this has affected them, in addition to preparing written statements and providing extensive pay and assessment records at the university's request," NTEU Victorian Division Assistant Secretary Sarah Roberts said.

RMIT interim Vice-Chancellor Dionne Higgins said since the dispute was lodged, it became clear that to verify that every payment in every instance would be an enormous and very time-consuming exercise, therefore proposing to increase all of the payments.

"We consider this is the best outcome for our casual academic staff members, who will receive an additional payment without being required to establish any entitlement or wait for an extended period of time for their entitlement to be assessed," Ms Higgins said.

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