Tuesday, October 30, 2012


This definition of a casual employee is taken from Commissioner Andrew Kefford's interim report titled 'State of the Service' (The Australian Capital Territory Public Service) - from 'Appendix 2 - Definitions'.

Employees include permanent officers, temporary and casual employees.

Employees – casual

Casual employees are those engaged on an ad hoc hourly or daily basis
(my emphasis) with no ongoing tenure of employment. This category of employment can also be referred to as non-ongoing and usually consists of an employment arrangement which is not considered systematic, continuous or permanent.

This being the case, myself and other so called casual employees of CIT are entitled to an explanation from CIT and from our union about just what it was we were doing while working at CIT because according to the statement above, we could not have been casual employees as we worked on CASUAL CONTRACTS each semester or term for up to nine  years. 

Our work was both SYSTEMATIC and CONTINUOUS. CIT got the best of both worlds from us; they got a committed staff member working their arse off in the hope of some kind of recognition and future permanency who always went beyond the call of duty because of this tenuous arrangement. And, gullible as we were, we signed CASUAL CONTRACTS each semester so that we only got paid for the teaching  periods we worked within; an hourly rate for face to face contact for the weeks of the term only.

In all other ways, we were expected to act like permanent employees. We wrote courses, delivered courses, marked work, took care of our students pastoral needs including unpaid 'consultation' times, attended staff meetings, increased CIT business by our efforts at promoting our courses and organising and attending extra curricula activities. We were expected to turn up for our regular classes and if we were sick another 'casual' was employed in our place using our course material - just as a 'casual' usually would (the real definition of a casual worker).

We were provided with our own office area, telephone and computer and we left that office area as OURS between CIT teaching periods. We then typically returned to 'our' office area up to two weeks BEFORE the teaching period began to get ready for the expected enrollments.

In my case, after an agreed time of absence (organised with my then Education Manager)  to go overseas during the last term of 2011, I returned to 'my office' in February 2012 to be firstly lied to by the new Education Manager and told there was NO WORK FOR CASUALS then the next week to find two new casuals (people I knew) had been put in my place as had a casual already working there who was given all of the load I would have otherwise shared. I just need to point out that this other casual also took periods off work to travel overseas for family reasons and was 'taken back into the fold' without a murmur as she too was a 'recognised staff member' ... which used to mean something among at least some at CMM at CIT but obviously not by the current management.

So, after what would have been four and a half years of work at CIT do you think anyone contacted me and thanked me or held a morning tea or some kind of farewell as any colleague would expect? Did the director of the place offer me any recognition? What an appalling lack of personal and professional respect. 

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