Gap between highest and lowest paid continues to grow

Posted By TEU on Jan 25, 2019 | 5 comments


The latest report from the State Services Commission (SSC) detailing how much leaders in the state sector are paid shows the income imbalance between the top and bottom is growing.

For tertiary education institutions, the average pay increase for a chief executive or vice-chancellor was 1.7 per cent (when including job size increase).

Whilst this was lower than the average increase across the state sector, it goes without saying that an increase of 1.7 per cent to an already huge salary gives chief executives and vice-chancellors far more money each year than the average person working in a tertiary institution.

It is also worth pointing out that public money is often found to fund these pay increases, whilst nothing as yet has been forthcoming to support those staff at Taratahi who are having to provide for their families without being paid at all.

It is even more frustrating when one considers the fact that during collective agreement negotiations a lack of public money can be cited as a reason by bosses for not offering pay increases to all staff.

It is also true to say that many of the problems that have brought places like Taratahi to its knees, or are leading to significant job losses at institutions like Unitec, can be traced back to poor decisions made by past managers.

Taken together these factors mean that more often than not the highest paid are insulated from the effects of poor decision-making, whereas those earning less can have their lives turned upside down when things go wrong.

Last year, in the wake of State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes calling for the brakes to go on chief executive pay across the State Sector, the TEU suggested that tertiary education bosses’ pay be frozen until all institution staff are paid at least the Living Wage.

Reiterating this, national secretary of the TEU, Sharn Riggs, said “the imbalance in pay between the highest and lowest paid at our tertiary institutions is an issue that should concern all New Zealanders. It is ridiculous that some vice-chancellors and chief executives are earning more than the Prime Minister, yet continue to refuse to pay their lowest paid staff enough to provide for their families.”

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5 Comments

  1. So far what are the teu going to do , are we going to act ! , or the same old words and things that as we all ready know and remind us how bad things are actions mean more than words, come on let’s hold some on these people accountable for the bad management in our institutions as it seems these management go from institutions to institutions making bad decisions and the TEU just keep on playing that same old record. Sorry you guys need to set up and make these managers hold accountable for these bad decisions before more jobs will loss

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  2. Putting some more numbers to this problem: 1.7% pay increase for a VC on $400,000 = $6800 vs someone on $40,000 getting a 2% pay increase only getting $800. These problems are further amplified when considering superannuation payments and fixed fees for staff such as parking charges of $1000 per year just for a license to hunt for a park. Considering those same 2 people, that parking fee is a cost of 0.25% vs 2.5% of income. Bringing in fixed value pay increases across the board is the only real way to stop this running even further out of control.

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  3. I like our C.E. He and I started working for the Institution at about the same time around 13 years ago. Now we are both multi millionaires from our wages alone! Oh no. Hang on. That’s just him. I still struggle to hold $100 in the bank by payday (which is not really payday as the money goes in at night). At least I don’t get any recognition for any ideas I may have to improve performance or even paid for some of the responsibilities I hold. Good on you Mr special skill set.

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  4. Nothing says there is value in getting an education more than our Teachers having to go out on strike for more pay while there is a shortage of them. Well done Guvyment!

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  5. The proposal to create a National Technology Training institute is timely. The ITP sector was rife with bad management and decision making, lack of entrepreneurial vision and approach, and provision of relevant and industry-oriented training opportunities for staff. I have been to many training sessions within the ITP sector, but they are sadly lacking in any sort of industry-relevant focus.
    The government needs to release funding for staff to engage in at least bi-annual industry-based professional development, and more frequently for rapidly changing industries.
    There need be no job losses, but a re-focus and alignment of jobs with potential for academic staff and support staff to re-train and work differently under the new model.
    It is a given that numbers in Board and Top management will shrink. That is where some of the current high -expenditure items are placed, in addition to costs incurred in buildings and developing infrastructure without clear purpose or future proofing.
    The ITOs should be advocates for their industries, facilitators of apprenticeships and tutor training in their relevant industries and also support cutting- edge research and knowledge transfer into the system.
    Fundamentally I support the reforms.

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