NorthTec bosses have invited staff aged over 62 years to express an interest in quitting their jobs, raising fears that institution bosses are considering a further restructure by stealth, as well as wasting public money.
The retire or resign offer has been made to staff who are not already affected by NorthTec management’s decision last week to press ahead with plans to cut more than 40 jobs, axe courses and close the institution’s Rawene and Kerikeri campuses – despite a lack of evidence justifying the proposals. Staff over 62 years are being offered at least $20,000 of public money if they take up chief executive Mark Ewen’s offer to go, despite him having earlier cited financial constraints as the primary reason to slash learning opportunities in the region.
The Tertiary Education Union is calling on the chief executive to urgently come clean about his plans for the institution, and to make sure that an exodus of staff does not further undermine NorthTec’s ability to support people to develop skills, learn trades, and create knowledge in their local community.
Chan Dixon, organiser of the TEU branch at NorthTec, said:
“Enticing an unspecified number of older people into leaving their jobs is a flawed way to manage any organisation, not to mention ageist and an irresponsible use of public money. The chief executive needs to be honest about his plans for NorthTec’s future and consult with staff and students so they have the opportunity to comment on the damaging impact these additional staff losses will have on the institution and the local communities it serves. We have made our concerns very clear to NorthTec, but have been ignored.”