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Pay Lecturers With Racial Funding

Pay demands from tertiary staff are forcing institutions to their financial knees, and students are at risk of graduating with second-rate degrees unless the Government acts, warns ACTivist President, Gavin Middleton.

“The Government talks about ‘Innovative New Zealand’, but last year the salaries of university lecturers increased by barely a third of the inflation rate. Now institutions are facing cuts to other essential spending so staff can be paid more” Mr Middleton said.

“Meanwhile, $3.7 million was paid out to tertiary institutions during the 2000/2001 financial year as a bonus for accepting Maori and Pacific Island students, through the ‘Maori and Pacific Peoples Supplementary Grant’. The universities where staff are striking today received over half a million dollars through this scheme while private training providers, including iwi-based providers, received nothing.”

“It’s a question of priorities - to give a bonus to a few students because of their race, or to give world class wages to world class lecturers.”

“Priorities have to change – tertiary institutions have to be funded to attract lecturers at the forefront of their field. A true ‘innovation strategy’ would end discrimination between public and private institutions and between students of different races.”

“Steve Maharey should immediately announce an end to race-based funding, and use the money to attract and retain quality tertiary staff” Mr Middleton said.

ENDS

For more information, contact:
Gavin Middleton
(+64) (021) 505495
president@activists.org.nz
http://www.activists.org.nz

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