Te Kunenga Ki Pūrehuroa – Massey University branch members have settled a collective agreement for general and academic staff that will see significant pay increases, with the lowest paid staff now receiving the Living Wage.

The negotiating team also settled an agreement to work with managers on reducing the use of fixed-term agreements, and paid time for TEU branch presidents.

The agreement reached for a 2.5% pay increase per year over a two year term, and the lifting of pay rates for staff in pay grades 1-4, with the lowest paid now receiving the Living Wage sees the most significant pay improvements for Massey staff  in recent years.

The pay increase is also a win for the Living Wage Movement, the TEU negotiating team, and for TEU members who have campaigned for the Living Wage in tertiary education institutions.

According to TEU Massey University organiser Heather Warren,

‘Every year we take a Living Wage claim into negotiations, and this year we got it. I think it’s our persistence that has paid off. But I also think there is recognition and some forward-thinking from the Vice-Chancellor and senior management that decent wages for staff is the way forward, and the Living Wage rate needs to be ensured across the entire tertiary education sector’.

The TEU is commited to pushing for institutions to become Living Wage employers, which would also require contract staff to be paid the Living Wage.

In another win for greater security for staff in the sector, Massey has agreed to some improvements for those on fixed-term agreements. There is now agreement between the two parties that the TEU Massey branch and the employer will deliver workshops to managers on the impact of insecurity and the union rights of employees on fixed-term agreements.

Heather says the wins reflect the work of branch members, and the make-up of the TEU negotiating  team.

‘It was really great in negotiations having around half of our team on fixed-term agreements. When it came to talking about the impact that this is having on staff, there were people who could share genuine stories about how this deeply impacts them as employees. You could see the recognition in the employer that this is significant issue that needs to be addressed,’ says Warren.