University of Queensland reveals $7.88 million in underpayments: report

Nearly 10,000 employees affected by underpayments

University of Queensland reveals $7.88 million in underpayments: report

The University of Queensland (UQ) has admitted to underpaying 9,743 employees by around $7.88 million between 2017 and 2023, according to reports.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry AC told employees in an email that the underpayment was a mistake, ABC News reported.

It was discovered in a pay review in October 2021, with the error related "to the minimum hours of engagement for casual academic and casual professional staff and the use of a different pay rate for casual academic staff with a relevant PhD."

The total underpayment does not include any interest or superannuation, with the median amount owed at $243, according to the report.

Michael McNally, National Tertiary Education Union Queensland secretary, called the underpayments "staggering."

"Nearly 10,000 of UQ's lowest-paid staff have lost on average around $800, during a cost-of-living crisis," McNally said in a statement. "The VC has apologised unreservedly, but that won't compensate the casuals who couldn't pay their bills."

Growing cases of underpayments

In its admission, the University of Queensland joins the growing list of Australian educational institutions revealing cases of underpayments within their ranks.

Others include the University of Western Australia, Swinburne University of Technology, James Cooke University, and the Australian Catholic University.

McNally said the national wage theft tally at universities has already surpassed $180 million.

"It's a staggering and shameful number that demands urgent change," he said.

According to the secretary, authorities need to act on university governance failures.

"Without major reform through the Universities Accord response, we will see more higher education staff having wages and entitlements stolen," he said.

Recent articles & video

Following adverse effects from COVID-19 vaccine, worker awarded workers' comp

Lessons for HR: After horrific accident, company rallies around executive's rehabilitation

15-minute dismissal: Manager fired over short phone call

Data engineer disputes expiration of maximum-term contract

Most Read Articles

Following adverse effects from COVID-19 vaccine, worker awarded workers' comp

'It's a sham': Customer relationship officer challenges redundancy

Queensland passes new law to enhance workplace safety in resources sector