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Issue # 1401      4 March 2009

University of Canberra outsources to India

The National Tertiary Education Union expressed outrage today as the University of Canberra confirmed via Canberra local media that it intends to send 50 jobs to India.

The contract, including some payroll, finance, I.T. and administrative positions, has been awarded to Indian software company Wipro. Wipro created headlines of its own recently when it was blacklisted by the World Bank in June 2007, for providing improper benefits to bank staff.

NTEU General Secretary Grahame McCulloch said today that the University’s decision was particularly disappointing in the light of the recent calls by federal and state politicians for Australian employers to protect Australian jobs.

“The University of Canberra is a public institution which receives the majority of its funds from the federal government. The latest income figures indicate that the University receives nearly $80 million in direct Commonwealth funding grants and HECS contributions,” said Mr McCulloch.

“At a time when we are seeing Australian workers lose their jobs at a frightening rate, employers on the public purse should have an added responsibility to keep jobs in Australia. This is the first time a university has attempted to send jobs offshore, and it is a move we completely oppose.”

“This is a good example of the results of 11 years of underfunding of universities by the Commonwealth – that universities are now resorting to these extreme measures. The politicians need to take note and accordingly, implement the Bradley Review’s recommendations to significantly increase Commonwealth funding in the May 2009 Budget.”

The Branch President of the University of Canberra Branch of the NTEU, Craig Applegate noted, “The University has not provided staff with financial arguments to support a decision to send jobs offshore. Information available to the NTEU suggests that the decision will save little money.”

NTEU members will meet next week to consider the Union’s response to the University’s decision.

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