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Industrial action looms at Massey

Staff members from the Hokowhitu and Turitea campuses at Massey University voted by an overwhelming majority to begin open-ended and escalating industrial action today. This follows a similar result at Albany campus last Friday.

The vote was in response to the employer's refusal to address staff concerns with increasingly unmanageable workloads, the casualisation of permanent staff positions and a 1.8% pay offer, which is less than the current inflation rate.

"The mood of the meeting was very unified, positive and strong. Our decision to start our industrial campaign, which includes withholding grades, will send a concerted message to our employer. It is now up to him to really start addressing our serious concerns," said Combined Union Team Spokesperson, Jan McPherson.

"There was a lot of discussion around the issue of withholding grades and this is to be expected because staff are always concerned at the effect our actions could potentially have on our students. Staff appreciated the support MUSA President, Huia Welton, gave us at our meeting today. Huia appreciated, as the majority of our students do, that the well-being of staff greatly affects the quality of the education we can provide. Huia was warmly received by the staff at the stopwork meeting and we thank her and her colleagues at MUSA for their support," said Jan McPherson.

"The decision to withhold grades will be revisited at further stopwork meetings held across the campuses on the 10th and 11th of December. It is at this time that members will also be asked to discuss and vote on the possibility of strike action for the beginning of Semester One 2002. We will make this plan known to the employer's negotiating team who we are making arrangements to meet after the final stopwork meeting is held at Wellington tomorrow," said Combined Union Spokesperson Peter Blakey.

For further comment please contact:
Peter Blakey w 356 9099 extn 2682 or cellphone 021 660 930
Jan McPherson w 356 9099 extn 8817

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