Skip to content
Education Training, Union

Australian Catholic University admits to $3.6 million wage theft

National Tertiary Education Union 2 mins read

Australian Catholic University has admitted to underpaying 1100 staff $3.6 million in the latest case of higher education wage theft.

ACU has committed to full backpay with interest as soon as possible over the underpayments, which happened between 2016 and 2023.

More than 101,730 university staff have now suffered $170.3 million in wage theft nationwide in recent years. 

NTEU National President Dr Alison Barnes said the university's admission was further proof wage theft was endemic in higher education.

"There's barely a university in Australia which hasn't been caught out stealing workers' wages," she 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.

"Underpayments and aggressive casualisation are baked into universities' business models.

"The Universities Accord has called on universities to become exemplary employers, this is yet another example of how desperately we need to realise that goal.

"With more than $170 million in underpayments affecting more than 100,000 staff, we need major reforms tackling insecure work and governance if we're to even make unis acceptable, let alone exemplary employers.”

NTEU ACU Branch President Dr Leah Kaufmann said university management had shown contrition and was committed to taking responsibility.

“We are disappointed that the NTEU was not consulted before today, given ACU became aware there was an issue in late 2022, but we look forward to working with ACU to ensure ACU sessional staff conditions comply with the provisions of our Enterprise Agreement,” she said.

"This is extremely serious systemic wage underpayment or an estimated $3.6 million to 1100 sessional staff.

"Unlike some other universities, ACU management has reported itself, apologised, committed to full back payments within 28 days, and will be providing access to support for staff identified as the victims of underpayment.

"The NTEU also welcomes ACU's commitment to pay every sessional employee at the highest rate until they can be confident in their payment systems ensuring staff are paid at the appropriate rate.

"This should be a lesson to all universities: if you're not sure, pay more."

Contact details:

Matt Coughlan 0400 461 480 /

More from this category

  • Education Training, Transport Automotive
  • 19/07/2024
  • 15:53
Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA)

EV Skills Training Centre of Excellence Needs Independent Skills Training Sector

For the new Electric Vehicle (EV) Centre of Excellence to best serve the interests of students and businesses, it must include the participation of independent Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) according to the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent skills training, higher education, and international education providers. ITECA has welcomed the joint initiative of the Australian Government and the Australian Capital Territory Government; however, the peak body believes that to ensure the centre’s scope and impact is maximised, it is crucial that independent quality RTOs be engaged. “The EV Centre of Excellence, which focuses on developing…

  • Contains:
  • Education Training
  • 18/07/2024
  • 23:10
Global Schools Holdings

OWIS Students Win Big at 10th SASMO Competition

Three winners are now ranked among Top 100 in SingaporeSINGAPORE / ACCESSWIRE / July 18, 2024 / Students of One World International School Digital Campus won a number of medals at the recently held Singapore and Asian Schools Math Olympiad (SASMO), while competing against more than 55,000 students from more than 7,000 other schools. One World International School, Singapore One World International School, Singapore Three of these winners are ranked in the Top 100 in Singapore and will have a choice to represent the country at the upcoming edition of Singapore International Math Olympiad Challenge (SIMOC) - a shot in…

  • Education Training, Government Federal
  • 18/07/2024
  • 14:53
Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA)

The 20% Student Loan Tax Is A Barrier To Equity And Access In Higher Education

To improve equity and access to higher education, the 20% student loan tax on FEE-HELP loans needs to be abolished, according to theIndependent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent higher education, skills training, and international education providers. The 20% student loan tax (formally known as a ‘loan fee’) is levied by the Australian Government on FEE-HELP loans taken out by students studying with most independent higher education providers. “This tax is effectively a tax on learning, unfairly burdening students who choose these institutions for their education,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive Officer. The 20% student…

  • Contains:

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.