Unitec cuts pay for academics, but not management

Posted By TEU on Jun 2, 2011 |

Tertiary Update Vol 14 No 19

Unitec’s annual report shows that the total amount it paid its academic staff last year fell $160,000 from the previous year.

However, in the same period salaries and short-term employee benefits for key management personnel increased by nearly 3.5 percent, and the new slimmed down council accepted average pay increases of more than 100 percent.

The 15 councillors in 2009 received a total of $99,000 (an average of $6,600 each). The eight councillors in 2010, who were appointed by either the minister or the council itself, received $116,000 (an average of $14,500 each).

Incredibly, the report counts the fall in academic salaries as an achieved target and notes the increase in general (allied) staff salaries represents an un-achieved target. It also reports that the student: staff ratio has climbed from 16.8:1 to 17.1:1 and that the academic staff turnover rate was 12.5 percent, or one in eight staff in 2010.

TEU national secretary Sharn Riggs says that the falling overall pay for academic staff is the direct result of an institution that will not negotiate properly with its staff but instead was wasting public money on legal challenges over the collective agreement.

“It is simply unacceptable that Unitec management would let the overall rate of pay for its academics slide downwards because of its inability to negotiate a Unitec collective agreement with its academic staff.”

For more information check out TEU’s Ready2Go campaign on the website and Youtube.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Strike action intensifies at University of Auckland
  2. Funding cuts are due to debt myth
  3. ACC changes risky for tertiary institutions
  4. CPIT helps launch trades academy

Other news

Yesterday Massey University publicised this New Zealand Herald story, ‘Taking breaks helps worker productivity’ by telling its Facebook fans “Take a break everyone – tell the boss I said it was ok ;)” Thanks Massey, we will make sure to pass that on to TEU members at your various campuses.

Legal action is about to begin against hundreds of New Zealand expats who have not made any effort to repay millions of dollars in outstanding student loans. From this week, authorities will start sending letters to Australia-based defaulters warning that legal action is being taken as a result of their on-going refusal to pay up – New Zealand Herald

A Wisconsin circuit-court judge has struck down a law stripping the state public-university system’s academic employees of their collective-bargaining rights after concluding that politicians violated open-meetings laws in passing the measure with too little public notice, the US Associated Press reports. The judge’s ruling is unlikely to resolve the matter, however, as the legal battle is likely to go to the state’s Supreme Court and lawmakers could opt to vote on the measure again.

The winners were announced today for a new fellowship that has sparked heated debate in academic circles for questioning the value of higher education and suggesting that some entrepreneurial students may be better off leaving college. Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal, will pay each of the 24 winners of his Thiel Fellowship $100,000 not to attend college for two years and to develop business ideas instead – The Chronicle of Higher Education

The U.S. National Labor Relations Board has ruled that a union practice of displaying a large inflatable rat balloon at an employer’s premises to protest the labour practices of its non-union contractor is not coercive, and so does not violate U.S. labour law. The Board found that the balloon display did not involve any confrontational conduct, unlike picketing. Nor was the display coercive in other ways, the majority found. It observed that the union agents involved in the display did not move, shout, impede access, or otherwise interfere with the hospital’s operations.  Rather, the rat balloon itself was symbolic speech.

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.


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