Flat payrise delivers to Otago’s lowest paid

Posted By TEU on Jul 30, 2015 |

Hau Taki Haere Vol 18 No 25

Everyone at Te Kura Matatini ki Otago (Otago Polytechnic) will get a $900 pay rise, no matter what their current salary, if union members vote to ratify their new collective agreement.

The proposed new agreement, which TEU members start voting on āpōpō (tomorrow), includes a $900 pay rise on all salaries (pro-rata) from next month and a further increase of $950 on salaries (pro-rata) from Here-tui-koka next year.

$900 is a 2 percent increase for someone at the bottom of the kaiwhakaako (lecturer) scale, and over 3 percent for a labourer, telephonist or assistant custodian at the bottom of the kaimahi (general staff) salary scale.

TEU tumuaki tuarua, Phil Edwards, who was on the negotiating team, says those earning the least face the same cost of living pressures as better-off colleagues.

“We agreed upon a flat rate increase to salaries as a way of getting more to those of our members who are on smaller salaries, while still ensuring that we deliver an increase to all members,” says Edwards.

A number of tertiary education employers have agreed to a flat rate increase in recent months, including Te Whare Wānanga o Otago (the University of Otago), where TEU members achieved a flat increase of $1000 after very protracted bargaining.

Edwards says the proposed two-year agreement also includes many other improvements.

The agreement includes a commitment to those kaimahi who are currently paid below the living wage to lift their salaries closer to the living wage rate, which is now $19.25 per hour.

It includes a wellness day for kaimahi which they can use at their discretion and is deducted from sick leave accrual.

It amends the professional development clauses to ensure that they apply to both kaiwhakaako and kaimahi.

It revises the salary scale for senior and principal lecturers, providing fewer steps but greater increases.

It increases annual leave for kaimahi with five or more years’ service by three days for the 2015 and 2016 Kirihimete holidays.

Edwards says he hopes TEU members will ratify the deal.

“We believe that we have delivered a reasonable increase and positive changes to some conditions for our members, with no clawbacks of existing conditions.”

Apart from changes to the kaimahi salary structure the new agreement will not pass on to non-union members for a period of three months.

Also in Hau Taki Haere this week:

  1. Too many threats to mātauranga in TPPA
  2. 10 Pike Rivers since Key’s “broken” promise
  3. New code for apprentices and employers
  4. Intueri Education continues buying spree
  5. Tauira suffer financial distress

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