Media Statement: Casual Pay Review

An independent review of casual staff payment practices initiated by La Trobe University in November 2020 identified some issues related to casual staff payments that required investigation to ensure consistency with the Collective Agreement.

An analysis of payments to casual staff over the last six years (1 July 2015 to 30 June 2021) has identified a number of casual staff in some areas who have been inadvertently underpaid owing to inefficient systems and processes.

We are very disappointed by these findings and sincerely apologise to all affected staff. Our casual staff are highly valued members of the La Trobe community. Although underpayments were unintentional, we deeply regret that this has occurred.

The total underpayment over the six-year period to 30 June 2021 is $3.5 million.

Our first priority now is to pay all identified current casual staff who have been underpaid up until the end of June, and this will happen by 31 December 2021.

The University is also contacting casual staff from the last six years who no longer work for La Trobe and who may have been paid incorrectly.

A second payment will be made in March 2022. This will cover any identified underpayments for the remainder of 2021. It will also cover further amounts owed for marking, a detailed assessment of which is being currently undertaken. We estimate that the second payment will be in the region of $2.5 million, with the final figure to be confirmed next year.

The University is simplifying and automating our systems and processes to ensure accurate payments to casual staff and to avoid any future errors.

This includes an improved induction and onboarding program for casual staff to ensure they are aware of the correct payment structures; and improved technology to remove the chances of human error. We continue to also review the time allocated for marking for each discipline to ensure fairness across disciplines so that staff are compensated for their time and effort appropriately.

We will continue to review and monitor our payments systems and processes on a regular basis and we have improved our systems for reporting and escalating any potential payment issues.

FAQs on the Casual Pay Review are available here.

Professor John Dewar AO, Vice-Chancellor, La Trobe University

Media Contact: Claire Bowers – | 0437 279 903