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Massey grades to be released

Massey Combined Union negotiators have today sent a message to union members authorising the release of grades following the receipt of an improved offer from management in the areas of salary, casualisation and workloads.

The willingness of the employer to return to the negotiating table over the last two days has been welcomed by union staff at Massey.

"The main improvements include the reduction of the period in which staff are truly casual. This change will significantly increase the number of staff eligible for coverage of our collective agreement, and the terms and conditions contained within it. Needless to say, this will mean a number of significant improvements to the current working conditions for the large number of casual members of staff" said Combined Union Spokesperson

"Employer has demonstrated a real commitment to working with union representatives to ensure that all staff have safe and reasonable workloads. These workloads will be closely monitored by a joint union/employer team"

"The most significant improvement in the salary offer was the commitment to apply the increases to printed salary scales for general staff. This has been a bone of contention for a number of years. In addition the previous 1% one-off lump sum payment will be applied as an across the board increase on the printed and paid rates for all staff in April 2002. There is also a commitment to pass on any additional government funding over a certain percent to staff in 2003" said Peter Blakey

"Perhaps one of the most important commitments for our university in the long term is the establishment of joint union/employer taskforces which will make specific recommendations for improved salary levels and related staff development opportunities. The work of these taskforces will inform the university's financial planning for the medium to long term" said Peter Blakey

"In addition we will co ordinate the formation of a National University Academic Staff Coalition comprising equal representation from unions and employers. This coalition would seek, among other things, to develop international benchmarking of academic salaries, opportunities and performance in teaching and research; advocate directly to Government to achieve international competitiveness of salaries and conditions for academic staff" said Peter Blakey

"We are concerned that the release of grades will put pressure on support staff who now have the unenviable task of processing the large number of outstanding grades before Christmas and are pleased with the assurance that no undue pressure will be put on general staff. We have been told that extra resources will be made available to departments who need additional support" said Peter Blakey.

"The negotiating team judged that this improved offer warranted a good will gesture from union members and so we have authorised the release of grades. This improved offer will now form the basis of further negotiations in the New Year" said Peter Blakey.

For further comment please phone Peter Blakey on 021 660 930

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