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University of Otago staff have today begun an industrial action campaign following the failure of the University to table a substantially increased offer at negotiations yesterday, Tuesday 30 October.

The industrial action campaign will start with low level actions involving a poster and sticker campaign, and attending the University Council meeting on 6 November – building up to the withholding of exam results and public demonstrations focused on the December graduation ceremonies.

Combined Union spokesperson, Jeff Rowe, stated that “The University’s failure to recognise the value of the work that staff do, and the recruitment and retention problems that the University faces leaves members with no other choice than to begin industrial action. Not only are the salary rates of members at stake, but also the quality of teaching and research at this institution.”

Following stop-work meetings held at Otago University campuses in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin last week, unions representing academic, general and trades staff re-entered negotiations with the employer seeking a substantially increased salary offer. In the event that this was not forthcoming the meetings had authorised an immediate commencement of an industrial action campaign.

“That campaign starts today,” said Mr Rowe.

* * * * *

Further meetings of union members will be held on 13 and 14 November to discuss escalation of the action.

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