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Staff And Students Unite To Seek Answers

Staff And Students Unite To Seek Answers From University

Staff and students representatives at Victoria University will be presenting the Vice Chancellor with forms from students asking for fees back for classes missed due to the staff strike held on the 27th and 28th March. The forms will be presented on a hospital stretcher to symbolise the wounds and divisions caused by the University’s attitude towards the staff contract negotiations.

‘Hundreds of students filled out forms, realising that the University saved money by not paying staff when they were on strike. Students are expecting a response from the Vice Chancellor about when the University will cough up and return fees to students’ said Victoria University Students’ Association President Fleur Fitzsimons.

"That staff need to go on strike, and that students do not automatically get compensated for cancelled classes and reduced services, is indicative of the unhealthy state of Victoria University. Financially Victoria may be on the road to recovery, but it has a long way to go in many other areas," said Association of University Staff Co-President Christine McCarthy.

Co-president Tony Quinn agreed "The current offer to staff is conditional on claims which will limit our ability to bargain in future negotiations. For an institution that says it values academic freedom, attempting to hamper future negotiations with staff seems a bit sick. Other NZ universities are not treating their staff in this way."

‘The forms will be presented to the Vice Chancellor on a hospital stretcher to symbolise an institution which should be a unified body of staff, students and management but which is wounded due to the exploitative approach taken by management and its refusal to recognise the value of hardworking staff’, said Association of University Staff Co-President Christine McCarthy.

‘We have invited the Vice Chancellor along to the hand over to tell staff and students what the Universities response will be to the students request. He should front up and let students know what the story is’, continued Fitzsimons.

The ceremony will take place at 12noon in the Hunter Courtyard at Victoria University.

Ends

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