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Massey University staff settle agreement

Media release
Attention Education and Industrial Reporters

Friday 10th May

Massey Collective Agreement Settled

Massey union members have voted overwhelmingly this week to ratify the latest employer offer. Key aspects of the settlement include a 3.5% salary increase backdated to the first pay period in January, improvements to the position of Massey staff who work on a temporary or casual basis, improvements to the sick leave and study provisions, an undertaking to address important workload issues outside of the agreement and most significantly a recognition of the importance of collective bargaining. The Agreement expires in October 2002 and negotiations recommence in September this year.

"We are pleased that union members are so united in their decision to settle this long-running dispute. We certainly would not have seen this level of support if the employer had not made significant concessions to union members. Our unity throughout this process has been remarkable and obviously effective" said Combined Union Spokesperson Peter Blakey.

"One of the most noteworthy and important aspects to this year's settlement is that the employer has recognised the importance of our collective bargaining process. We have reached an agreement where the union negotiated settlement will not automatically be passed on to non-union staff. This has already put a message into the Massey community that bargaining collectively will achieve improvements and that if you choose not to be part of that you take your chances. I think we have managed to demonstrate to staff that there are clear and tangible benefits to being part of our unions. This aspect of our settlement puts us in a strong position for future bargaining" said Combined Union Spokesperson Jan McPherson.

"Union members, however, are still dissatisfied with the employer's salary offer. At 3.5% it remains inadequate to address the ongoing problems Massey faces when recruiting and trying to retain well-qualified and highly valuable staff. We also note that the university has just announced a $15 million surplus, which is more than they budgeted for. We look forward to raising with them the best way to spend this when negotiations recommence in September this year" said Peter Blakey.

"A crucial aspect to establishing a sense of trust and goodwill between our unions and the employer, as we move towards further negotiations in September, will be the work of the joint union/employer salary and workload taskforces. It will be vital that these taskforces generate tangible and successful outcomes, within the short timeframes that we have, which union members can see and appreciate" said Jan McPherson.

Jan McPherson h 3561089; cellphone 025 281 5622 (PN & Auckland)
Peter Blakey w 356 9099 extn 2682 or cellphone 021 660 930 (PN & Auckland)
Jill Ovens 025 424 809 (Wellington)

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