The State Services Commissioner’s comments yesterday that there has been a big rise in the number of people earning more than $100,000 a year at universities, wānanga, and polytechnics, and that the sector needs to exercise more restraint, gives a false impression of the what is happening in the sector.
Tertiary Education Union national secretary Sharn Riggs says that ordinary staff in the sector have exercised considerable restraint over the last year and a half.
“Most people working in tertiary education have had pay increases less than the rate of inflation in the 18 months since the economic crisis hit.”
“The commissioner’s report focuses on an increase in the total number of people earning over $100,000. But virtually all general staff across the sector and academics in polytechnics earn nowhere near that amount of money. Even the majority of academics in universities, who operate in a competitive international market, do not get that sort of salary.”
“The State Services Commissioner has used the salaries of highly paid managers in the sector as a justification for proposing pay restraints on a completely different group of workers – on ordinary working people in the tertiary education sector that are earning an average New Zealand salary,” said Ms Riggs.