Planned changes at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand will see 45 full time equivalent roles replaced by 46 newly created more specialist jobs, the institution’s management announced last week.
Open Polytechnic currently employs 389 permanent full-time equivalent staff. Under the changes 45 academic and management roles will be disestablished, with the establishment of 46 full time equivalent new academic and online specialist leadership roles.
Last year the Tertiary Education Union raised concerns about the impact on jobs of management’s plans to go one hundred percent online.
“We are pleased that management listened to the concerns staff had last year and has decided, at least at this stage, not to cut the overall number of jobs. However, we do still have some concerns about precisely what these new roles will be, and the impact the changes may have on students’ learning experience and access to specialist tutors,” Sandra Grey, national president of the TEU, said.
Where existing staff meet the criteria they will be employed in the newly created roles, management confirmed.
“One of the consequences of restructures like this is that they often mark the start of a period of considerable uncertainty and stress for staff, many of whom will not know if they will still have a job in a few months’ time. We hope management continues to communicate openly and honestly with all affected staff throughout this process. We will of course be doing what we can to support our members,” Grey added.