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"Sledgehammer" approach not helpful

25th June 2008

MEDIA RELEASE

NorthTec’s sledgehammer approach not helpful to promoting a settlement


NorthTec management’s response to a protest picket by their allied staff (non-teaching) for this Friday, has been described by the staff’s union as over the top and intimadatory.

“Our members have planned a low level picket protest for Friday morning 27th June to demonstrate their anger and frustration at NorthTec’s approach to the Collective Agreement negotiations,” said Peter Joseph, spokesperson for the Tertiary Institutes Allied Staff Association, the union representing the NorthTec staff. “NorthTec’s management have responded by writing to individual staff members advising them that they will be suspended if they participate in the protest. This is viewed by staff as over the top, intimadatory, and demonstrating their lack of respect of their staff,” he said. “Our members will be extremely disappointed at NorthTec’s actions, but will not allow it to deter them from protesting to achieve a fair and reasonable settlement”.

“Most staff members put in many additional unpaid hours to ensure that NorthTec continues to function, and NorthTec’s action will be seen by them as how little their contribution is acknowledged and valued by NorthTec,” said Peter Joseph.

Mr Joseph said that the union, was not legally required to notify NorthTec of the protest picket, but had done so as a matter of courtesy, but given NorthTec’s response, would be unlikely to do so again if further action was contemplated.

“It is a shame that NorthTec management’s rapid reaction to the planned protest by staff, has not been replicated in responding to what our members have put forward as being necessary to achieve a fair settlement. If they had responded when they undertook to do so, the protest may have been avoided,” said Mr Joseph.

ENDS

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