Helen Kissell University of Canterbury Stopwork meeting

Canterbury redundancies would be irresponsible and disloyal

Academics who teach small classes will be among those at risk of redundancy, University of Canterbury vice-chancellor Rod Carr told the Press last week.

Dr Carr said the university would wait for voluntary redundancies before deciding how many staff would lose their jobs.

There was “no doubt” staff who were teaching a smaller number of students, researchers whose outputs were smaller and researchers who were not attracting grants would be at high risk of redundancy, he said.

Fifteen hundred domestic students and 450 international students have left the university since the earthquakes, resulting in a $16.5 million loss of tuition fees.

“The Government has not made any commitment to make up for that,” Carr said.

The Government had pledged the student achievement component of the university’s funding would remain the same next year, but Carr said that did not cover losses such as tuition fees for students who had left and who would have gone on to pay for their studies in the years ahead.

TEU’s general staff vice-president Helen Kissell, and a University of Canterbury staff member, also says that the government needs to do more to protect one of Christchurch’s largest employers and most important learning and cultural centres. CERA has identified education renewal as one of the priorities for revitalising Canterbury. Staff redundancies will hamper this significantly and are unlikely to attract new people to the region.

“Staff have given everything we can for our university and our students over the last year. We will keep doing that because a strong, vibrant Canterbury University is crucial to rebuilding a strong, vibrant Christchurch city. It would be completely unjust and illogical for management to cut away those very people who have stuck loyally with the university over the last year,” said Ms Kissell.

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