National salary bargaining on agenda
The annual conference of the Association of University Staff (AUS) has unanimously endorsed a new national approach to industrial bargaining and salary-setting for its 6,000 members at New Zealand’s universities.
The conference, held in Wellington this week, gave the green light for the Association to pursue a new national bargaining strategy in 2003 centered on negotiating national collective employment agreements. They will replace the enterprise-based agreements currently negotiated separately at each university. Two new agreements are proposed, one for academic staff and another for general staff.
AUS National President, Dr Grant Duncan, said that a national collective agreement for university staff would bring greater consistency, collaboration and efficiency to industrial matters within the sector. “Furthermore, it is perfectly in tune with the changes being made to the Government’s tertiary funding formula We trust that employers will also see the advantages of national bargaining and will cooperate with the process”, he said.
Addressing the AUS conference Associate Education Minister, Steve Maharey, said that the Government was comfortable with multi-employer bargaining within the university sector as it is consistent with the collaborative intent of the tertiary education reforms.