Academics turn down 4 percent pay, want better education instead

Posted By TEU on Feb 18, 2011 |

Protecting the quality of teaching and research may cost academic staff at the University of Auckland a pay rise but they’re prepared to make this trade-off and use industrial action to achieve it.

At meetings across every campus at the University of Auckland, academic staff are exasperated at their employer for trying to take away conditions crucial to doing their job well. The university is offering a 4 percent pay-rise, which academics have said they would rather not take if it means they lose key conditions from their employment agreements.

The vice chancellor is proposing to move key conditions out of the collective agreement and into university policy.

TEU national president Sandra Grey says staff cannot believe that their vice chancellor is trying to buy out staff with a 4% pay rise provided he is able to make major changes to their collective agreement.

Associate professor Alexandra Sims from the University of Auckland, says the changes would leave staff without any say over conditions which are fundamental to their roles. For example one condition is around managing their research.

“We want to ensure that students’ qualifications at Auckland are still highly sought after and we can only do this if our teaching is informed by research.”

University of Auckland senior lecturer Kim Dirks says their vice chancellor repeatedly says he wants Auckland to be the number one university in New Zealand.

“Staff are warning the vice chancellor that if they are forced to let go of these important conditions of work, then attracting first-class academics and postgraduate students will be much harder.”

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