Australian Catholic University has apologised to hundreds of staff after an extensive audit found 1100 people were underpaid $3.6 million in wages over a seven year period. Source: Herald Sun.
ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Zlatko Skrbis emailed workers yesterday, informing them some staff had their entitlements miscalculated between 2016 and 2023, resulting in insufficient pay.
“You deserve to be paid correctly for your work and it is our responsibility to ensure you are being paid correctly,” Professor Skrbis said.
“On behalf of the university, I would like to sincerely and unequivocally apologise on behalf of the university and the Senate to every employee — past and present.”
Sessional staff who had PhD qualifications and those undertaking subject or unit coordination duties or lecturer-in-charge duties were among those who had possibly been underpaid.
The university said in a statement it was in the process of contacting all former and current staff who had been affected by the error to apologise and advise them about how much they’re owed.
Staff who weren’t appropriately paid will also receive interest on top of the amount of money they’re entitled to.
ACU said it has disclosed the matter to the Fair Work Ombudsman and advised the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) and the Community and Public Sector Union to inform them about the error.
NTEU national president Alison Barnes said the university’s admission was further proof wage theft in higher education was endemic.
“There’s barely a university in Australia which hasn’t been caught out stealing workers’ wages,” Dr Barnes said.
“Wage theft is the symptom and insecure work is the disease. It’s extremely disappointing but not surprising that casual staff have once again been the victims of this egregious conduct.”
Australian Catholic University apologises after audit finds staff underpaid millions (By Rebecca Borg, Herald Sun)