Discussions are underway at the University of Auckland for a pay model for professional staff that recognises their experience, knowledge, expertise and commitment to advancing quality tertiary education.

The University of Auckland is the only university in New Zealand where professional staff, including librarians, administrators, support workers, technicians, finance staff, laboratory assistants and many more, have to compete for ratings within a purely performance-based model in order to get a fair return on their work.

At other universities professional staff have models that incorporate annual increments that recognise experience, knowledge, expertise and commitment to advancing quality tertiary education and research, rather than the purely performance-based model offered to professional staff at the University of Auckland.

Staff should not have to compete with each other to get a fair return on the work they do. This is the message of the Pay Well, Pay Fairly campaign. TEU representatives will be taking that message into negotiations.

While formal negotiations will be held between TEU branch representatives and University of Auckland officials over 29-30 July, representatives from both parties have been actively engaged in the job evaluation and renumeration project for professional staff.

According to TEU Branch President Nicole Wallace, there have been encouraging signs the University of Auckland understands the importance of affording professional staff a pay model that recognises the significance of their work, and the skills and experience they bring to their roles,

“With negotiations beginning soon, we have the opportunity to implement a fair pay model for our professional staff. There have been some really encouraging conversations with the employer and signs they agree the current system needs to be improved. We’re feeling optimistic that as a union we have articulated the need for change well – and we’ve described what that change needs to look like. That makes this round of negotiations all-the-more important”.

TEU Branch organiser Jane Kostanich agrees, and urges all University of Auckland staff members to get involved and share information on the Pay Well, Pay Fairly campaign,

“This is an opportunity to implement changes we have been trying to make for years, for a pay model that is transparent, objective, and fair. But to get this over the line, we need as many professional staff as possible on board, and for those already engaged to keep up the great work. Together we can ensure a fair pay model for professional staff”.