MEDIA RELEASE: La Trobe University Redundancies are the Federal Government's Fault

13 May 2020

Labor MPs Andrew Giles, Ged Kearney, Kate Thwaites and Lisa Chesters have today called on the Federal Government to grant La Trobe University access the JobKeeper Payment immediately.
Yesterday, La Trobe University informed staff that the institution was facing a shortfall of between $33 million and $63 million in 2020.
As a result, La Trobe will later this week ask staff for expressions of interest for voluntary redundancy and pre-retirement contract programs.
These redundancies are due to the Morrison Government.
The Morrison Government changed the criteria for JobKeeper payments to exclude universities such as La Trobe from accessing the scheme.
According to the university, JobKeeper payments would have provided them with $50 million to mitigate the impact of the current crisis on the jobs and livelihoods of their staff. 
People’s livelihoods are gone - academics, tutors, administration staff, library staff, catering staff, grounds staff, cleaners, and many others – all with families, trying to make ends meet. 
These job losses will have a terrible impact on Melbourne’s northern suburbs and in regional cities like Bendigo where La Trobe is a key employer and is responsible for thousands of direct and indirect local jobs. 
Universities around the country have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19. With enrolments falling and income plummeting, universities are facing a financial crisis. 
The La Trobe University redundancies are a direct result of the Morrison Government‘s failure to deliver more help to the university sector.
JobKeeper was set up to help protect jobs. So why won’t the Morrison Government allow universities like La Trobe to retain their workers?
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg could fix this problem with the stroke of a pen. 
Labor calls on the Morrison Government to support La Trobe University staff and allow the university to access JobKeeper today.