Auckland admin staff campaign against lower pay

Posted By TEU on May 1, 2014 |

Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 12

Happy May Day everyone! This is the first time since TEU was formed that an issue of Tertiary Update has come out on May Day (also known as International Workers’ Day). It is a day to celebrate union solidarity and our many collective achievements.

Auckland admin staff campaign against lower pay

TEU members in administrative jobs at the University of Auckland started planning a campaign over Easter to protect their pay, workload and job satisfaction in the face of a faculty administration review (FAR) that is restructuring hundreds of jobs.

TEU branch president Mark Amsler believes union activism and engagement with senior management have so far helped protect permanent jobs for many administrative staff. However there is still a risk that many restructured jobs will be downgraded to lower levels on the pay scale, even as many people will have larger workloads and less meaningful work.

“Administrative staff have important skills and knowledge which enable academics and students to teach, learn, and do quality research,” he said. “Fewer administrative staff at lower grades threatens to make those jobs more difficult, and to lower staff and student satisfaction.”

Currently the review intends to disestablish over 100 full-time and part-time jobs and create new permanent jobs. The first option for all new jobs will go to permanent staff whose jobs are cut. TEU organiser Enzo Giordani anticipates there will be few compulsory redundancies. “However we are very concerned that the university is using the review to lower its wage bill by moving people into jobs on lower pay scales. This will also impact on remaining staff’s workloads.”

Mark Amsler says administrative staff members face three big issues.

“With many casual and fixed term roles proposed to be eliminated, we need to ensure that remaining staff do not end up carrying the hidden burden of their workload, that is, doing more with less. We’re also very concerned members could be forced into jobs with lower pay, with the result they end up doing a job with less meaningful and interesting responsibilities because of their downgraded job classification.”

“The branch is organising a campaign to prevent all three of those issues arising,” said Mark Amsler

TEU members are also working collectively now to coordinate submissions on the review proposal. The consultation on the review ends on 16 May and the final structure announcement will be made on 14 July.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Polytechnics need democratic councils too
  2. Staff deserve UCOL’s new money
  3. Unions oppose changes to minimum wage calculation
  4. Australian students prepare for black budget

Other news

The University of Otago spent more than $5.5 million on redundancies in the past four years – The Otago Daily Times

The Dunedin Free University will run its first course this week, with Associate Professor Bob Lloyd teaching on the subject of sustainability. The initiative is based on the model of free universities overseas, with principles of sharing and creating knowledge – Dunedin TV

The trebling of university tuition fees to a maximum of £9,000 a year in England may not save taxpayers any money, an independent think-tank has warned- The Independent

Ban selfies? Most US institutions say ‘no’. Despite the uptick of institutions banning selfies at graduation, the state of the selfie in higher education is strong- Inside Higher Ed


Print Friendly, PDF & Email