Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato – The University of Waikato employer and TEU went into mediation two weeks ago after the employer claimed there was no room in the university budget for TEU claims.

As with other tertiary education institutions around the country, University of Waikato branch members have been working hard to ensure their voice is heard in calling for pay and conditions that recognise their skills, experience and committment to delivering quality tertiary education to tauira and communities in the region.

The TEU branch negotiating team met with university HR representatives to discuss TEU claims for salary increases, prescribed incremental pay, and members-only benefits.

So far in collective agreement negotiations, university HR have been adamantly opposed to claims made by the TEU, but with HR now taking time to discuss these matters with senior management and the Vice Chancellor, TEU organisers are hopeful an agreement can be reached.

Branch President Annie Barker says the three core claims presented by TEU are about bringing university staff salaries in line with other New Zealand universities, and providing a more equitable pay system,

“In terms of incremental pay, people should know where they sit on the pay scale in relation to others, and have a clear line of sight in terms of pay progression. There has to be an expectation that you can move through the range, rather than starting and staying at the bottom. For too long we’ve had staff staying in the bottom half of their pay range, with no idea or assurance of when and how they will progress. This uncertainty does not lend itself to staff feeling valued and respected for their hard work and dedication”.

The University of Waikato branch members will meet this week to report back to members how the negotiations are going and to decide what, if any, action is needed.