As stated yesterday, we, like all Australian universities, have been impacted by COVID-19. We are also dealing with pre-existing challenges. Together, these challenges require decisive action. On 4 May 2020, we announced that we are commencing Sustainable Futures, a program to remediate our financial position, and ensure we are sustainable well into the future. The program will focus us to build on our strengths and ensure our future is financially and academically sustainable. Yesterday, 16 June 2020, we announced the review of our course profile.
We are transparent about the financial impacts. In March 2020, we projected a budget deficit for 2020 of $49.5 million however with proposed savings through the Sustainable Futures program we expect to reduce this deficit in 2020 and continue to aim for a return to a balanced budget by the end of 2021.
- We projected a deficit for 2020 prior to COVID-19 – this has been exacerbated as a result of COVID-19
- We are aiming to save through changes to our course profile, staffing structures and a review of operational expenditure
- We are also focusing on revenue generation opportunities
- Our senior executives have undertaken a 10 per cent pay cut for 2020.
We have now commenced the first phase of our organisational review and are working with our staff on the proposed impacts to positions and what this means for individuals.
The first phase of staff impacts is focused on divisions and offices and we will undergo a second phase in relation to faculty staff later in the year. This may also involve further re-calibration of our staffing profile in divisions as additional information comes to light.
We are working to minimise the impacts on staff and have already identified and made changes to make savings across our operations. Unfortunately we cannot avoid job losses.
Between 100 and 110 full time equivalent positions have been identified for potential redundancy. In addition, 35 full time equivalent positions that are currently vacant will not be filled.
We have worked collaboratively with our unions to also offer voluntary redundancies in limited circumstances.
We will, of course, adhere to our Enterprise Agreement obligations but more than that, we want to manage this with compassion and sensitivity.”