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Education Training, Union

UQ Gatton Staff shocked at proposal to outsource cleaners’ jobs

National Tertiary Education Union 2 mins read

Staff at UQ’s Gatton campus have expressed shock at the university management’s proposal to outsource the jobs of over a dozen cleaners.


UQ management have been aggressively advocating the need for the university to remain “competitive” in recent months. UQ has annual operating revenue of over $2 billion a year. 


“It is not credible to argue that the nominal savings being proposed by outsourcing cleaning at our Gatton campus, will make UQ a less competitive university internationally,” said NTEU UQ Branch President Dr Andrew Bonnell.


“UQ has a dozen executives who earned more than $500,000 a year in 2022, while our cleaners are some of the lowest-paid workers at the university. 


“Despite this, UQ is frequently rated as one of the 100 top universities in the world.”


UQ management have demonstrated that they do not value the integral role our cleaners play in the university community. 


The work they perform is an essential service and core to maintaining safety and well-being on campus. 


UQ’s Gatton cleaners helped get the campus safely through the COVID-19 pandemic. 


The campus is home to the School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability and the School of Vet Science, including an animal hospital. 


The campus has specialist cleaning needs that differ from other UQ campuses. The Gatton campus is also part of a rural community in the Lockyer Valley. 


The effect on the community of job losses at Gatton will be felt more strongly than in Brisbane, especially in the present conditions of a cost-of-living squeeze.


Gatton NTEU Sub-Branch President Anthony Young said:

“People are sick of corporations like Qantas outsourcing work and saving at the expense of the most low-paid workers. Staff at Gatton expect UQ to be better than that.”


The proposal to outsource the 13 jobs is out for consultation until Thursday 14 September and then goes to the UQ Professional Staff Consultation Committee, which includes both union and management representatives, for consideration.


Contact details:

Dr Andrew Bonnell, UQ Branch President, NTEU, 0400 373 457

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