Big pay rises for bosses out of touch with tertiary education priorities

Posted By TEU on Sep 26, 2013 |

Tertiary Update Vol 16  No 33

With no fanfare and little coverage the State Services Commission last week released its annual report on remuneration for public sector bosses including university vice-chancellors and polytechnic chief executives.

The results were unsettling for a tertiary education sector where government funding cuts and austere bargaining rules from the State Services Commission mean most staff have had to accept pay rises at or below inflation.

For instance, the University of Canterbury’s vice-chancellor, Rod Carr, received an increase in remuneration of more than $40,000 between the years 2011-12 and 2012-13 and EIT’s chief executive, Chris Collins, received a pay rise of more than $50,000.

The State Services Commission reports the total remuneration of each chief executive or vice-chancellor within a band of $10,000.  Six of the eight vice-chancellors had jumped up at least one $10,000 band and half of them had jumped more than one band.  All except one of them now earn more than $500,000  a year. Auckland’s vice-chancellor, Stuart McCutcheon, remains the highest paid public official in New Zealand.

Eleven of the country’s 18 polytechnic chief executives jumped up at least one $10,000 pay band, and seven jumped at least two pay bands. At most of the other polytechnics where pay remained in the same pay band or fell there had been a change in leadership or the chief executive had left.

TEU’s national secretary Sharn Riggs says councils around the country had their priorities wrong.

“Our tertiary institutions need to invest the money in the people who need it most, not the people who already have the most. Pay rises of $50,000 and more for public sector chief executives are not appropriate in today’s age when the gap between rich and poor is growing so dramatically.”

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Time for PBRF to go

  2. Staff out to save Northland arts programmes

  3. International students ignore advertising campaign

  4. Australia’s hidden agenda on university cuts revealed

Other news

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt believes registering the Southern Institute of Technology as a university could attract more international students to the city. During an Invercargill City Council meeting this week, Mr Shadbolt said overseas markets had “no concept” of the term polytechnic, making it harder to attract international students to Southland – Southland Times

The head of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa can now be paid up to $400,000, up from a maximum of $280,000, figures from the State Services Commission show. The salary cap for the chief executive of Whakatane’s Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi has increased $130,000 to $330,000, while Otaki’s Te Wānanga o Raukawa has the smallest increase, climbing just $10,000 to $200,000 – Radio NZ

An Otago Polytechnic student who turned to his students’ association when he was in financial strife is not surprised student demand for foodbanks is increasing – Otago Daily Times

Aoraki Polytechnic could fall 400 students short of its target of 1773 for the current year, with a potential deficit of $2 million. Acting chief executive Alex Cabrera said strategic alliances and collaborations were being considered with an alliance with Lincoln University allowing Aoraki to offer degree programmes. “Most of our programmes are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm so we need to find a more flexible way to deliver these courses,” he said – Timaru Herald


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