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University staff and Government's new project

Media release
20 May 2002
Attention Education Reporters

University staff want broad staffing issues included in Government’s new project

The Association of University Staff [AUS] has called for a range of staffing issues to be included in the Government’s recently announced Collaborating for Efficiency project, the focus of which is: to gain efficiencies through diagnosing and sharing best practice throughout the public tertiary education sector.

AUS National President, Dr Grant Duncan, stressed that he hoped that the project did not mean a continuation of the negative policies of the 1990s, which emphasised ‘efficiency’ requirements more relevant to profit-focused private business than to public education institutions.

Dr Duncan noted that the stated emphasis of the project was on developing collaborative strategies across the sector and that one of the focus areas for the project would be ‘staffing costs’.

‘The public education sector would benefit enormously, not least in terms of efficiency and effectiveness, from the development of collaborative strategies related to staffing issues,’ said Dr Duncan. ‘Moving towards more collaboration in industrial relations would be a good start - instead of each individual institution spending scarce resources, time and energy duplicating activity in this area’.

‘A good example of the potential for collaboration is the development of job evaluation schemes in the universities,’ continued Dr Duncan. ‘Currently, each institution, at great cost, employs consultants and devotes significant resources to developing its own job evaluation scheme. Given that each institution employs the same occupational groups, it seems logical to suggest that a common, national scheme would be more appropriate – and a better use of resources that are urgently needed elsewhere in the system.’

Dr Duncan said that AUS would be approaching the Government regarding union representation on the steering group now being established to oversee the work of the new project.

Dr Grant Duncan: AUS National President, 021 680 475
Rob Crozier: AUS General Secretary, 04 915 6691

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