Massey to cut general staff jobs

Posted By TEU on Jul 1, 2010 | 2 comments

Tertiary Update Vol 13 No 24

Massey University is proposing to cut 53 jobs across its three campuses in Palmerston North, Wellington, and Albany. Under the proposals, 120 current positions, mostly general staff, including computer support staff, administrators, teaching consultants and student advisors, would be cut and 67 new positions created. Most current staff whose positions are cut will be able to apply and compete for the new positions. As with the University of Canterbury’s Project STAR, the proposals also aim to bring a range of services currently managed in different parts of the university under a single management structure.

This week staff unions were notified of the proposal, as required under the Massey University Collective Employment Agreement. The 201 staff members whose roles are affected by the proposal – either because their roles are to be disestablished or reporting lines changed – received letters yesterday outlining the proposed changes.

The university now will begin a period of consultation on these proposals, which will end on 18 August. Massey  anticipates announcing its final decisions by about 23 August.

The Tertiary Education Union’s branch president Harvey Jones says that the cuts are a result of ongoing government funding cuts:

“Unfortunately, continuing government underfunding appears to be driving the need for this restructuring.”

“Many of my friends and colleagues have just received letters from the university saying that they could lose their jobs.  These people have put their hearts and careers into the university and helping educate Massey students.”

“It would be a travesty if government just watches from the sidelines at a time when we need to be helping more young New Zealanders get an education and contribute to their communities and New Zealand’s economy.”

Mr Jones is concerned that Massey has signalled that there will be more restructuring with the potential for further job losses in other areas, such as academic services and administration.

“Staff in these areas now face a further period of job uncertainty,” he said.

Over the next seven weeks TEU will be working with members affected under the current Massey University proposals, in the hope of reducing the number of jobs cut and to assist those members who choose to do so, to move into new positions.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Joyce wants level playing field for funding PTEs
  2. Funding falls as inflation blooms
  3. Parents gain tax reward at Auckland Uni
  4. More students get allowances

Other News

TEU members covered by the ITP MECA finally have a proposed terms of settlement for their collective employment agreement to ratify.  Union members are in the process of voting.

Massey University vice chancellor Steve Maharey told the National Council of Women Manawatu branch that he is concerned that not enough males are enrolling at university. Males make up only 39 per cent of the enrolments at Massey University, and Maharey said a societal shift might be needed to fix the growing gender gap – Manawatu Standard

The 2nd ITUC World Congress, taking place in Vancouver from 21–25 June, has closed with a firm resolve to push for the attainment of quality public services and education for all, as key parts of the strategy to exit the global economic crisis –Education International

A number of Aoraki Polytechnic courses could be scrapped or improved because of low completion rates, after the Tertiary Education Commission’s move to publish performance data – Timaru Herald

TAFE Directors Australia is proposing a new type of higher education institution, in  between universities and TAFEs. The proposal suggests creating a new category of non-university institutions that would offer degrees at bachelor and masters level, in addition to vocational courses. –The Australian

Once dismissed as an American phenomenon too crass to imitate, fund raising is being embraced by Australian universities as key to their success –The Chronicle of Higher Education

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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