State Services Commission interferes in good faith bargaining

Posted By TEU on Aug 27, 2009 |

Tertiary Update Volume 12 Number 28

The State Services Commissioner is overstepping his role in the tertiary education sector. Instead of carrying out his role of being consulted by employers, he is exercising a power of veto over proposed tertiary education sector settlements that have been negotiated in good faith, according to Tertiary Education Union national secretary, Sharn Riggs.

Ms Riggs has written to the State Services Commissioner outlining her concerns that the commission is acting beyond its statutory powers as outlined in section 74 of the State Sector Act. She believes that its actions probably also fall foul of the good faith bargaining requirements contained in the Employment Relations Act.

“The TEU is engaged in bargaining at the moment in all parts of the tertiary education sector: universities, ITPs and wānanga. Our advocates are struggling to conclude proposed settlements of collective agreements which have been negotiated in good faith. The problems they are encountering seem to be a direct result of the SSC’s intervention in the collective bargaining process.”

“Clearly, from our point of view, the SSC’s unprecedented involvement in our negotiations needs to stop. We seek an immediate undertaking from the SSC that it will cease all involvement in our bargaining – other than that to which it is statutorily entitled,” said Ms Riggs.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. University negotiations break down
  2. Government backs down on debt-relief at WITT
  3. Victoria University staff rally to save social sciences
  4. PBRF drives research output but at what cost?
  5. Te Timatanga Hou not safe yet
  6. Community protests about ACE cuts grow
  7. Telecom dispute galvanises unions

TEU Tertiary Update is published weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the Tertiary Education Union and others. You can subscribe to Tertiary Update by email or feed reader. Back issues are available on the TEU website. Direct inquiries should be made to Stephen Day, email:

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