THE Australian National University has accepted 250 voluntary redundancies and plans to terminate a further 215 jobs as it tries to deal with the economic impact of COVID-19. 

Today (September 16) vice-chancellor Prof Brian Schmidt told staff that the university is attempting to save about $103 million per year from 2021 to meet their budget allocations.

In a document titled, "Recovery Plan: Initial Change Consultation", the university reported that a pay rise deferral, which was agreed to by staff saved about 90 positions but wasn't enough to save all jobs.

The document suggests that the university will also reduce costs by limiting use of consultants and contractors, limiting travel, improving procurement for goods and services and reducing non-salary costs.

In a response to the news, the Canberra Liberals say this is a terrible reminder of the economic impact of COVID-19.

"Our thoughts are with all the ANU staff who have been impacted by this devastating decision and their families," says a Liberals spokesperson.

"The Canberra Liberals are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to strengthen our economy, create more secure jobs and protect livelihoods. That's why we are resolutely focused on lowering the cost of living in Canberra to help more struggling families get ahead, particularly through these extraordinarily tough times. Our polices support the creation of new secure local jobs and will make the ACT a more attractive place to invest."

 

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Ian Meikle, editor