THE National Tertiary Education Union has said it is "appalled" La Trobe University would choose to accept the proposal.
NTEU La Trobe Branch president Alysia Rex said staff had submitted vast amounts of feedback opposing the proposal.
"As president of the branch, I'm deeply disappointed that the university has chosen to continue with this change proposal," she said.
"What we've learnt from meetings on Thursday is that the uni has received more than 3000 individual items of feedback about the proposal from staff.
"And it's very rare that the feedback would be positive in regards to plans like this so it's a clear sign that the plan itself was deeply flawed and required significant re-working."
"What I've seen so far is that the re-working hasn't happened in any significant form."
Ms Rex said staff were finding it difficult to re-apply for the reducing amounts of positions at the university.
"I'm appalled that staff have been given a little over a week to seek advice and submit applications for any new positions," she said.
"They've not being afforded the dignity of an interview as part of that process either and staff deserve better than that."
A La Trobe spokesperson said all feedback was carefully considered.
"Some changes made as a result, mainly at a local level as that is where the majority of feedback was focused," they said.
"We believe that the changes strike the best balance between addressing La Trobe's revenue downturn because of COVID-19 and setting the University up for a really strong future.
"With regards the recruitment process, we have made this as straightforward, flexible and equitable as possible, given the challenges that many of our staff are currently facing with the continued lockdown.
"Staff have told us that they do not want a protracted process and we have streamlined our approach to reduce the work required by our staff to apply for a role. We have also given affected staff a day of paid leave for them to prepare and submit their applications."
BENDIGO MP Lisa Chesters has voiced her concern for staff and students at La Trobe Bendigo after the recent proposal announcement.
She said it was "a sad day" for the people of Bendigo.
"It's a really sad and heartbreaking day for many students and staff at Bendigo's La Trobe campus," she said.
Ms Chesters said she had spoken to La Trobe University and there would be a few areas in particular that would be "severely impacted".
"The confirmation that these changes will go through will mean that the Humanities and Social Sciences area will drop to eight staff," she said.
"That's a drop from 21 positions that were available prior to 2014.
"Since then there have been restructures, redundancies, resignations and retirements, but this latest proposed change means that we're now left with eight positions in those study areas."
Ms Chesters said lack of support and funding from the federal government had taken it's toll on universities in regional Victoria.
"The federal government's funding cuts to universities has placed pressure on regional campuses, making it harder for them to break even," she said.
"Through their reforms, it has tripled the cost of an arts degree which has discouraged students to study arts when it was cheaper to study other courses.
"And their refusal to back the universities with JobKeeper when the pandemic first struck last year.
"La Trobe has told us there has been an overall drop of almost 50 per cent in student numbers in Humanities and Social Sciences and I think that's why we find ourselves in this position today."
Ms Chesters said she will continue to fight and secure more funding for the university.
A La Trobe spokesperson said while the changes would affect these schools, new roles would emerge.
"La Trobe has a proud history of investing in and supporting the Humanities, including at our regional, campuses, which will continue to be the case in the new structure," they said.
Since 2014 and up until the pandemic in 2020, staffing levels in our School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HUSS) have remained stable.
"In spite of significant reductions in student enrolments to HUSS subjects over the past 7 years, we have retained a stable HUSS staffing profile in Bendigo.
"In the new structure, while a number of academic HUSS positions are affected, there are also new HUSS positions available in Bendigo and across the regions, and a HUSS academic position has been reinstated in Albury-Wodonga following consultation and feedback.
"After these changes are implemented, La Trobe's humanities and social sciences students will continue to enjoy the best staff to student ratio of any school at the University."
La Trobe University is proceeding with its change proposal that will affect multiple campuses and leave staff facing redundancy.
The university informed staff of its decision this morning after the proposal went through consultation and review stages.
La Trobe believes the change proposal will ensure a strong position to allow the university to grow in coming years. The new operating model is expected to come into effect on January 4.
The change proposal was release to staff in July for consultation with up to 200 jobs to be potentially lost. The five-week consultation period ended on August 18
Key changes to be implemented as part of the proposal include replacing the current two-college model with a single Office of the Provost into which 10 academic schools will report.
Some disciplines and departments will be consolidated within schools to align more closely to La Trobe's strategic objectives.
It will include centralisation of support in student administration and student engagement, centralisation of professional and administrative support for learning and teaching, and strengthened capacity and coordination for industry engagement.
Indigenous academic leadership and support for Indigenous students and staff will be strengthened with clear leadership and consolidated support for wellbeing, disability and inclusion for students and staff.
"The changes to La Trobe's structure and operating model will ensure we now have the platform for a sustainable future which aligns our resources with our strategic priorities and takes account of our likely revenue over the next five years," he said.
"The university's transformation will allow us to focus more sharply on our strengths and distinctiveness in teaching and research, simplify our business processes and operations, and ensure we can continue to make a positive difference to our students, communities and partners.
"I recognise that this continues to be a very challenging time for our staff and we will continue to provide a wide range of support as we move through the next phase of staff recruitment, redundancies and implementation of our new operating model."
Recruitment to new and vacant roles will commence on September 22.
More to come
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