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Massey Council rejects the voice of staff

Massey University released University Council decisions relating to the controversial 'repositioning' and cost-cutting project to representatives from the Association of University Staff (AUS) today. The University has agreed not to implement any decisions with staffing implications until an AUS legal challenge is heard in the High Court, probably in mid-September.

"The only changes Council made to the draft proposals, which recommended the axing of 86 equivalent full-time positions, are in the Humanities and Social Sciences College on the Albany campus,” said Associate Professor Tony Lewis, AUS Branch President.

“Recommendations relating to the College structure and reduction of staff at Albany have been referred back to the Vice-Chancellor for reconsideration. This was a change that AUS endorsed and we are pleased with this result.”

“That Council saw the need to change the Albany portion of this particular proposal, however, shows up its generally flawed nature. AUS cannot understand how Council endorsed the rest of the terrible Humanities and Social Sciences proposal. When put to the Vice-Chancellor by AUS representatives today, he did not see fit to question Council's inconsistent decisions."

"Staff were disgusted that discussions and decisions regarding the 'repositioning' proposals were held in secret last Friday. A number of staff felt strongly enough that they refused to leave the meeting when it went into closed session," said Professor Lewis.

"It has made us conscious that staff must become proactive in the process of appointments to these crucial decision-making bodies such as Academic Board and, particularly, University Council. Many Council members who supported these flawed proposals were actually appointed by the previous government and made decisions based on principles out of step with current government policies, not to mention their own staff and students’ assessment of these proposals.

"Our immediate focus is now to prepare for the case before the High Court and to turn to the industrial campaign currently in progress over stalled contract negotiations.

For more comment please contact Tony Lewis w 3569099 extn 5588 025 211 3290 (mob)

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