University of Wollongong staff say they are experiencing feelings of "here we go again" as they await further details regarding senior management's new "One-UOW" plan.
This week, outgoing Vice-Chancellor Paul Wellings raised the possibility of further staff cuts in the wake of declining revenue.
He also informed staff of the university's new approach to dealing with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.
Staff say they are concerned that despite their sacrifices to support the university in 2020, the management plan could result in many more jobs being lost at UOW in 2021.
UOW National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members met on campus on Wednesday to discuss their options.
NTEU branch committee member at UOW, Professor Fiona Probyn-Rapsey, said there were feelings of "here we go again" among staff.
"There's a sense of deja vu, but also shock and disappointment that the sacrifices that we'd already made to our pay and conditions haven't amounted to being protected from these sorts of major restructures in a way that we were hoping," she told the Mercury.
"The announcement that a university-wide restructure is planned to be implemented over the Christmas/New Year period has left UOW staff deeply concerned about the future of our jobs.
"All staff have worked so hard in 2020, through COVID, to maintain quality research, teaching and student support at UOW.
"Now, just before many staff take additional forced leave to further support our uni finances, they are being told they might not have a job by Easter."
Prof Probyn-Rapsey said they were awaiting the full details regarding the plan, and for some of their questions to be clarified.
"The plan has been given the name of 'One-UOW', with a glossy brochure attached, but it is bereft of the detail staff need," she said.
"Staff are being shown what the future model will be, but not the complete picture. So it's very confusing for staff, and I think there's a sense of disappointment about the way in which it's being handled in that sense."
On Monday, the Vice-Chancellor unveiled One-UOW, a new operating model "designed to reduce costs by eliminating duplication of resources, functions and processes across faculties and central divisions".
"This operating model is increasingly common in universities across the world and is set to reshape UOW ready for a post-pandemic world," Professor Wellings said to staff.
The presentation on Monday warned that "all staff will be impacted to some degree, either directly or indirectly" by the One-UOW model.
The first change will start on January 18 and involve changes to faculty administration, financial services, student accommodation and student recruitment.
UOW NTEU members are due to meet again on Friday.
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