Most undergraduate teaching in Australia’s universities is now performed by hourly paid staff, and these casual academics form the majority of the academic teaching workforce in our universities. This recent development has significant implications for the careers and working lives of those staff, for other academic staff, and for students, implications which are yet to be closely examined. Investigation of the working conditions of casual academic teaching staff is important, as the ageing of the continuing academic workforce suggests the universities will need to consider workforce development and renewal, and the casual academic workforce may represent an important source of labour. This paper examines the support casual academic staff receive from their universities to undertake their work, and how this level of support has an impact on their job and career satisfaction. It uses data from the Work and Careers in Australian Universities Survey, conducted in 2011 across 19 universities. Casual academic teaching staff answered questions which provided information on a range of demographic details, conditions of work, their motivations for casual work, and their access to a range of job and career supports. The research found that there is variation among universities in their provision of physical supports such as provision of a desk and computer, supports for collegial inclusion such as meeting attendance, and access to professional training. The range of assistance provided to these staff had an impact on their job and career satisfaction.
Recommended CitationMay, Robyn; Strachan, Glenda; and Peetz, David, Workforce development and renewal in Australian universities and the management of casual academic staff, Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 10(3), 2013.