Academic judgment casual payment dispute

Academic judgment casual payment dispute

This page provides information on a dispute lodged by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) with RMIT about whether rates of pay were applied appropriately and consistently for a range of assessment tasks undertaken by RMIT’s higher education casual academic staff since the commencement of the RMIT University Academic and Professional Staff Enterprise Agreement 2014 on 3 July 2014.

25 November 2021

Read a message from our Interim Vice-Chancellor to affected past and current casual academic staff (Download PDF 622kb)

Background

In June 2021 the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) lodged a dispute with RMIT regarding whether rates of pay were applied appropriately and consistently for a range of assessment tasks undertaken by RMIT’s higher education casual academic staff.

This covers the period since the commencement of the RMIT University Academic and Professional Staff Enterprise Agreement 2014 – From 3 July 2014 until 1 November 2021.

Under RMIT’s agreements, assessment tasks are paid at either the “standard” rate or a maximum rate where academic judgment is required.

RMIT has paid casual staff the higher academic judgment rate for the majority of assessment work over this period but the NTEU claimed that standard rates were not always paid correctly.

This issue relates to RMIT’s higher education casual academic workforce who have performed assessment work over this period (approximately 3900 current and past employees). This does not relate to vocational education or professional casual staff.

Resolution

As a university we absolutely take our obligations under our enterprise agreements very seriously and we’re committed to ensuring that our employees have received their full entitlements.

Following discussions with the NTEU and RMIT’s own investigations it was clear that to verify that every payment of the “standard rate” for marking during this seven-year period would be a very significant and extensive program of work and introduce considerable expense and delay.

To ensure a timely resolution, RMIT proposed to the NTEU that each "standard rate” payment to casual academic staff who did assessment work between 3 July 2014 and 1 November 2021 be increased to the academic judgment rate, irrespective of the type of assessment actually completed. This payment will include interest and superannuation.

Importantly, these higher education casual academic staff members will receive the additional payment without being required to establish any entitlement or wait for an extended period for their individual claim to be assessed. 

These uplifts from the standard to the academic judgment rate for all marking amount to a cost to RMIT of approximately $7.5m.

Next steps

We value the contributions our casual employees make and we apologise unreservedly to any who may have felt undervalued, and for any confusion or distress they may have experienced in regard to this matter.

RMIT will communicate with all current and past casual academic employees that this issue affects.

Payments to current higher education casual academic employees involved are expected to be made by the end of this year (by 30 December).

Current casual academic employees will receive further details of their individual payments via email in early December.

Past higher education casual academic employees will be contacted in the new year to advise them of the payment and to confirm their details. These payments will be made in the month following the confirmation and verification of their details.  

Further information

For any queries or to provide your updated contact details, please email academic.judgment.marking.dispute@rmit.edu.au or call 03 9925 5999. 

This page will be updated as required. 

 

24 November 2021

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Frequently asked questions

Payments are being made to casual academic staff members who undertook assessment work between 3 July 2014 and 1 November 2021. 3 July 2014 is the date from which the previous enterprise agreement operated.

No, only higher education casual academic staff who were paid at the standard rate for assessment work at any time between 3 July 2014 and 1 November 2021. This does not relate to Vocational Education or professional casual staff. 

All current and former higher education casual academic employees who are eligible to receive a payment will be contacted directly by RMIT. Only higher education casual academic employees who were paid at the standard rate for marking between 3 July 2014 and 1 November 2021 will receive a payment. Casual employees who were paid for all their marking time at the academic judgement rate will not receive any additional payment. 

Current higher education casual academic employees eligible for a payment are expected to receive this by the end of this year (30 December). 

Former higher education casual academic employees will be contacted in the new year to advise them that they are eligible for a payment and to confirm their details. Payments will be made in the month following the confirmation and verification of their details.

Employees will be provided with a document setting out the details of the payment including the original hours worked at the standard rate, when those hours were worked and the additional amount being paid in respect of those hours.

No, all eligible current and former higher education casual academic employees involved will receive a payment of the difference between the standard and academic judgment rate for the time they spent marking. RMIT has a record of the standard rate hours paid and will automatically pay the difference (plus interest and superannuation) with no need to make a claim.

All current and former higher education casual academic employees involved will be contacted directly with more information. 

Current casual academic employees will receive more details regarding the payment they will receive in December via their staff email address. 

Former casual academic employees will be contacted in the new year with more information via their last known personal email address and any other contact details RMIT has for them. They will be requested to provide their current contact and banking details via a secure form to enable the payment to be made. 

If you have any questions in the meantime, you can email academic.judgment.marking.dispute@rmit.edu.au or call 03 9925 5999. 

Former casual academic employees can provide their up-to-date contact information and email addresses by emailing academic.judgment.marking.dispute@rmit.edu.au, calling 03 9925 5999 or can wait to be contacted in the new year.

More information will be made available as required and published on the Academic judgment assessment payment page (this page – please bookmark). If you have specific questions, please email the email address above or call 03 9925 5999. 

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