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RMIT denies plan to cut 1200 staff

RMIT University has denied it is preparing to slash 1200 staff, after reports earlier today quoted that figure.

An RMIT spokesperson would not confirm how many jobs are to go, but said no final decision would be made until staff are consulted.

“We are continuing to look at all measures that can help RMIT’s ongoing financial sustainability, but the sheer scale of the challenges facing us means that some job losses are inevitable.”

“RMIT recently accepted 355 applications for voluntary redundancy and we are currently in consultation on a number of potential change programs across the University which are with our people for feedback,” the spokesperson said.

But the National Tertiary Education Union’s RMIT branch president, Sam Gibbard, said some voluntary redundancies were knocked back and that the savings don’t add up.

“We're losing a tremendous amount of institutional knowledge and experience to save money.”

“We were told by the university the other week that the cost of making 355 staff take voluntary redundancies was in excess of $60 million, and with that $60 million spent they're looking to save $40 million off the wage budget next year,” Gibbard said.

The union was concerned about the mental health impacts on staff as a result of the second lockdown and this potential announcement of staff cuts.

“A lot of people are at an emotional and physical low and then to have meetings suddenly called, with very short notice by managers, where people could be told that their position’s being made redundant has really knocked staff about and we're really concerned about the mental health and wellbeing impacts of this,” Gibbard said.

Today’s news follows the Australian National University’s announcement yesterday that more than 460 jobs will be cut as a result of the financial impact of COVID-19.


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