Human Rights 1, Dr Fogelberg 0
Southern Young Nationals
HUMAN RIGHTS 1, DR FOGELBERG 0
“A common sense decision that should never have been asked for.” That was the comment from Stuart Jordan, Southern Chair of the Young Nationals after the Chief Justice threw out the attempt by the Vice Chancellor of Otago University, Dr Graeme Fogelberg, to obtain a declaratory judgement allowing him to enforce compulsory retirement on staff over 65.
With the Chief Justice in Dunedin earlier this year, Dr Fogelberg had sought a declaratory judgement under a provision in the Human Rights Act to allow him to uphold a clause in some university employment contracts, requiring compulsory retirement at 65. This outraged the Young Nationals, who campaigned strongly against the move.
Having waited months for the decision, Mr Jordan said it was a relief that Dr Fogelberg failed. “It is an embarrassment to the University of Otago, with all her proud traditions and achievements, to be sending a signal that people over 65 have nothing at all to offer. Not only does it lower the reputation of the university, it is extremely insulting to anybody over 65!” He also called for Dr Fogelberg to apologise to all those he had given offence to with his actions, and to admit he made a grave error of judgement that has tarnished the image of the university.
Mr Jordan also questioned who should be footing the legal bill. “It will be a slap in the face to every student who struggles from week to week if the money is to come out of student pockets. I challenge Dr Fogelberg to come clean and tell students the cost of his actions and how they are to be paid for.”
Protest Marches that were to be organised should Dr Fogelberg had won have been scrapped, and Mr Jordan said that the Young Nationals would instead quietly celebrate the decision in their usual style.
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