Australian university trade union concedes up to 90,000 job losses

By its own admission, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) is presiding over a disaster—the greatest ever destruction of jobs in the Australian university sector.

The October edition of the union’s aptly-titled Sentry online magazine states: “The NTEU can confirm that there have been at least 12,185 positions lost in Australian universities since March. This comprises at least 5,300 continuing positions, 6,486 casual positions and 399 fixed term positions that we are aware of. Sadly, the full figure is likely much higher.”

Based on the NTEU’s estimate that about 100,000 people are engaged on casual contracts in the sector, the magazine concludes: “[I]t is not out of the question to assume that up to 50,000 of our casual colleagues have lost work since the COVID-19 disaster began.”

An NTEU rally at Macquarie University late last year (Credit: WSWS)

That loss would take the total to around 90,000 permanent, fixed-term and

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