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Industrial Campaign begins at Massey University

In meetings throughout the past week on various campuses, union members at the troubled Massey University voted to reject the University's offer of settlement of the collective employment contract covering both general and academic staff. The unions also voted to conduct an industrial campaign commencing immediately with the complete withdrawal of goodwill and a 24-hour strike scheduled for 1 September when the University Council next meets.

This action comes at the end of five months of dispute with the University’s senior managers over their stewardship of Massey University. This includes the controversial downsizing and cost-cutting measures, which the University management calls its ‘repositioning' project.

"Although management's pay offer does not cover inflation, by management's own admission, money is not the main concern for union members. We are more troubled by deteriorating working conditions which would result from accepting this contract. The issues that we have seen as most important over the past several years, such as workloads, academic promotions procedures and the implementation of genuine consultation between management and staff, have consistently been marginalised by management," said the joint unions' action committee spokesperson, Dr Karen Rhodes.

"One of my colleagues put it this way. ‘I am prepared to strike for a change in the way decisions are made at this university, for a return to democratic processes, for a change in management, all leading to a return to working conditions in which one has some pride and motivation.'

This is a common feeling for all staff across Massey's campuses," said Dr Rhodes.

"Although management has conceded some issues in an attempt to gain an ‘interim contract', they have signalled more clawbacks of current conditions for next year. We find this whittling away of conditions totally unacceptable," said Dr Rhodes.

For more information please contact Dr Rhodes at h (06) 353 61100 or w (06) 3569099 extn 7296

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