Restructures, redundancies and workforce downsizing : Implications for Australian higher education sector post COVID-19

Journal article


Owens, Alison, Loomes, Susan, Kearns, Margot and Mahoney, Peter. (2022). Restructures, redundancies and workforce downsizing : Implications for Australian higher education sector post COVID-19. Australian Universities' Review. 64(2), pp. 7-14.
AuthorsOwens, Alison, Loomes, Susan, Kearns, Margot and Mahoney, Peter
Abstract

This paper reports on research conducted with staff employed in the Australian higher education sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sector has been significantly impacted, particularly those institutions heavily reliant on revenue from international student enrolments. Universities moved swiftly to introduce cost-savings measures such as, deferring capital works spending and reducing non-salary expenditure, scaling back casual and fixed term staff and cuts to executive staff salaries, followed by rounds of redundancies, early retirement offers and termination of staff, often framed as organisational restructuring. However, financial data for the 2021-22 period indicate that some institutions have actioned disproportionate staff cuts related to net income, often badging this downsizing as organisational restructure. This information is discussed in terms of the potential implications for the higher education sector in planning for, and meeting workforce needs, as it seeks to regenerate a sustainable business model post-pandemic.

KeywordsCOVID-19
Year2022
JournalAustralian Universities' Review
Journal citation64 (2), pp. 7-14
PublisherNational Tertiary Education Union (NTEU)
ISSN0818-8068
Web address (URL)https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=eue&AN=163784597&site=ehost-live&scope=site&custid=s5501413
Page range7-14
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online2022
Publication process dates
Deposited14 Aug 2023
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