Life Education Australian National University to lose 465 jobs due to financial impact of COVID-19

Australian National University to lose 465 jobs due to financial impact of COVID-19

The ANU says it has to save more than $100m each year until 2023. Photo: ABC News/Niki Challis
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The Australian National University (ANU) says COVID-19 will force it to shed hundreds of jobs from its workforce. Estimates put the job losses at 465, including 250 voluntary redundancies.

The ANU said it was working to save $103 million each year until 2023.

A statement from the university said it had determined it would need to retain cash to the equivalent of up to $250 million, or three months’ operational expenses, to ensure they had sufficient cash to cover salaries and bills “going into the uncertainties of 2021”.

“Our international student numbers are down to below 2017 levels and in our best guess scenario will likely fall further in 2021 (a 30 percent reduction from 2019), which is a significant strain on our budget,” the recovery plan said.

The university said all of the $13.5 million it saved from deferring a staff pay rise earlier this year had been put toward keeping positions, equating to up to 90 jobs.

The ANU said 250 staff had already expressed interest in a voluntary redundancy and hoped the additional 215 positions to be lost would come about through “voluntary separations”.

“We have had 230 staff elect to accept voluntary separations, and are expecting another 20 in the weeks to come,” they said.

“It is always hard to lose colleagues and their contribution will be sorely missed.”

The university’s plan to save money, unveiled today, goes beyond cutting jobs, with further measures such as limiting the use of contractors, and investing in Greenhouse Gas emissions, listed.

-more to come