Australia News

James Cook University to cut 130 jobs to combat dramatic drop in student enrolment

A North Queensland college is planning to slash 10 % of its workforce as pupil enrollment continues to plummet.

James Cook dinner College (JCU) has revealed a proposal to chop about 130 jobs from its pool of 1,300 employees at its Townsville and Cairns campuses.

Vice Chancellor Simon Biggs mentioned JCU had skilled a 25 % discount in home college students previously 5 years.

He mentioned the job cuts would permit the college to claw again $11 million in wage prices yearly.

“Merely put, our pupil load has been declining for some years and universities in Australia are paid based on the variety of college students they train, however our employees load has not declined in the identical interval,” Professor Biggs mentioned.

“Ultimately your prices meet up with your earnings and sooner or later you run the chance of turning into unsustainable should you do not take motion.”

The cuts are focused at skilled and technical employees, together with these working in pupil administration, IT, finance and human assets.

“We’re not lowering the capability of our tutorial employees, so when it comes to the supply of programs, packages, models for our college students – that should not change,” Professor Biggs mentioned.

a man in glasses wearing a shirt
JCU Vice Chancellor Simon Biggs. (ABC North Qld: Chloe Chomicki)

Workers had been briefed concerning the proposed redundancies at a discussion board on Thursday.

Extra cuts to come back

Nationwide Tertiary Training Union (NTEU) consultant Bronwen Forster, who works as a liaison librarian on the JCU Cairns campus, mentioned she feared college students would not directly endure.

“Plenty of the job losses are behind the scenes, however that can nonetheless affect college students,” she mentioned.

“It may affect on opening hours, it may affect on face-to-face companies – college students could be directed [online] fairly than an actual life individual offering them help.”

JCU has flagged extra potential job cuts over the following two or three years.

“We’re already lower to the bone, so I feel if there are additional redundancies that can undoubtedly cut back companies to college students in some kind,” Ms Forster mentioned.

Students stand in front of a large tent
James Cook dinner College has been struggling to draw new college students.(Fb: JCU Pupil Affiliation)

JCU Pupil Affiliation president Thomas Sherrington mentioned he was “dissatisfied however not shocked” by the cuts.

“We’re rising out of this pandemic so we want all these employees doing their laborious work behind the scenes to make this entire operation work the most effective it will probably,” he mentioned.

The NTEU has additionally threatened to take industrial motion subsequent month over pay and workload points for educational employees.

Professor Biggs acknowledged JCU workers had been among the many worst paid college employees within the nation

“I feel we do want to supply a good and affordable pay rise, but when that pay rise is extreme, then that’ll merely imply someplace down the monitor, we’ll have additional challenges to our price range,” he mentioned.


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