12 August 2009

ANU - Underpaying Workers or Rewarding Volunteers?

| shaneb
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The ANU marketing machine is busily humming away with a call for students to ‘work’ at it’s annual open day. While the ANU (and other institutions) have been calling these activities volunteering and rewarding their ‘volunteers’ with cash-equivalent vouchers to supermarkets for years, this recent email has to make you wonder if the ANU truly views it that way…

    Title: Work at Open Day & earn a $50 voucher!
    Hello everyone

    The ANU Open Day fast approaching (Sat. 29^ August) & we are in need once again for current students to assist us.

    If you feel confident talking about your (positive!) experiences as an ANU engineering student and are free on Sat. 29 August, please contact me at:sammantha.bronar@anu.edu.au

    Here is some extra info:

    WHEN: Saturday, 29 August

    TIME: 8:30am – 4:00pm (thank you pizza & drinks will follow). Note, a full day commitment is preferred.

    JOBS: Talking to potential students in the gym & in our design studio.

    ‘PAYMENT’: A $50 Coles/Myer voucher for students who work a full day. For those that can only work half a day they will receive a $25 voucher. First preference will be given to those that can work a full day.

    Email me at sammantha.bronar@anu.edu.au by 5pm Thursday 20 August. A meeting will be held at 1pm on Thursday 27 August in the Ian Ross Seminar Room (R214) to assign jobs & to hand out ANU t.shirts to wear on the day.

    Please include the following info. in registering your interest:

    Full name:
    Uni ID:
    Full name of your program:
    Approximate year you are in:
    I can work a full day or half day:
    Mobile number (this will be kept confidential):

    I’ll be taking names of the first 30 people to reply. From there I’ll create a waiting list. Student association members & ‘EWB students’ who may have already heard about the need for student helpers must also register. Please note that if you don’t register you don’t get ‘paid’. Also, please note that if you turn up on the day to help out & have not registered you will also not get ‘paid’!

I have no doubt the ANU will successfully find students willing to do the work, give their large pool of foreign students who will be keen to find extra ‘work’ beyond their 20 hours allowed by the government, but by the time you do 7.5 hours of work, 30 minutes setup / packup, and an hour of training assignment of jobs this equates to $5.56 an hour or about one third of the minimum wage.


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If they try to call it ’employment’, there are legal implications (insurance, taxation, superanuation etc.)

Interesting that they are offering more than the thanks, movie tickets or coop gift vouchers available in previous years, but not a conspiracy.

Further, please learn the difference between “ANU” and “CECS, ANU” (and etc.)

I like the question “Approximate year you are in:”…

As previous posters have alluded to these are engineering students, not arts students, and thus could probably give you an exact year.

Master_Bates10:17 am 13 Aug 09

Engineering Students are not tight arsed….

What did the arts Graduate say to the Engineering Student?

“Do you want fries with that?”


Sounds like students are undertaking paid employment – ANU should be careful to advise the ATO! Simply placing the single quotes around the words “paid” probably won’t suffice legally… who wants to take that legal case on?

Bummer. How things change in five years.

I used to work at the Uni open day every year when I was a student. We used to get paid about $150 for the day.

But that was Uni of Canberra. Maybe they have stopped paying properly now too.

Sammy said :

I’m an ANU student and i’ve happily given my time in the past for the open day, with no incentive required.

Get over it, and accept the fact that engineering students are tight-arses, and need sufficient incentive to give something back.

Or alternatively Engineering students (unlike for instance Arts grads) don’t need this sort of busy work crap on their CVs to get a paying job after graduation. Just a thought.

barking toad7:29 pm 12 Aug 09

Faculty Fight!!

A student is worth tens of thousands of dollars of revenue to a university. Those whose job it is to attract those money bags to the university ought to be worth more than a fifty buck gift voucher to the university.

I’m an ANU student and i’ve happily given my time in the past for the open day, with no incentive required.

Get over it, and accept the fact that engineering students are tight-arses, and need sufficient incentive to give something back.

Yeah, the Uni is exploiting them – lets call in Resistance or the ISO to save them all!

Plenty of other students (in Visual Arts and Music, for example) will be attending Uni on the day, and they will mostly be giving their time freely to talk to interested potential applicants – it’s called goodwill.

Maybe there is no goodwill in Engineering, hence the need to offer some incentive to come in for the day?

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