TEU members at Massey are rejecting a statement by their employer that “money is not a driving force” for staff and therefore there is not a strong case for offering them a significant pay rise.
Union members are campaigning to improve the university’s pay offer of 1 percent, arguing that it is not enough, especially for those on lower pay rates.
In negotiations, the university offered union members a 1 percent pay rise from January 2016 and told the unions’ bargaining team it could not afford more, that it does not have any trouble attracting and retaining staff.
TEU organiser Heather Warren says the claim that retention is good so fair pay rises are somehow not warranted is unbelievable.
“Staff should not have to quit their job or complain to show that they are worth a pay rise. If anything there should be a reward for loyalty and experience.”
Warren says staff earning less than $50,000 particularly need a fair pay rise.
The increased costs of living – food, accommodation and power – all rose roughly the same for everyone but 1 percent for someone on less than $50,000 is a lot less to cover those costs than 1 percent for someone on more than $50,000.
The negotiations cover members in four unions; TEU as well as EPMU, PSA and TIASA. TEU members are currently developing a campaign to show the university that there is widespread support for a fairer pay rise.