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University union prompts 'catch up' salary offer

University union prompts 'catch up' salary offer at Auckland

Salary settlements at other New Zealand universities have prompted the University of Auckland to make a supplementary 2.5% salary offer to staff, effective from 1 February next year.

Auckland University had settled on a 4.5% pay deal over 2 years from 1 February this year, but settlements reached by the Association of University Staff (AUS) at other universities have created a benchmark of at least 7% over the same two year period. AUS members at Massey, Victoria and Otago have all recently reached agreement with their employers, and Waikato staff will vote on a renewed offer next week.

Auckland has consequently been left lagging behind other universities, resulting in the decision by Auckland Vice Chancellor, John Hood, to increase salaries by the further 2.5%.

AUS General Secretary Helen Kelly, said that the Auckland settlement had left the door open for further pay increases, although dependent on Government funding increases. While the University had initially claimed the increase for 2003 was insufficient to provide further salary increases, it has now been forced to find the money from an internal un-allocated fund called the Planned Case Initiative Fund.

Helen Kelly said staff welcomed the increase but questioned why the University did not make the offer in the original negotiations. She said the 'catch up' confirmed the AUS view that University bargaining patterns are so similar, they simply follow each other, making multi employer bargaining the logical and efficient step to pursue in the next bargaining round for both the union and the employers.

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