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AUS Criticises Financial Waste on Litigation

AUS WEB SITEUniversity Union criticises huge financial waste on litigation
The President of the Otago University branch of the Association of University Staff (AUS), Mark Peters, today criticised University of Otago management for its huge financial waste on litigation associated with collective employment agreement negotiations.

Mr Peters was commenting on the Employment Court’s dismissal of a case taken against AUS by Otago University in which the university sought to have what it described as "secret strikes" declared illegal. The University also alleged that, during last year’s bitter industrial dispute, AUS had breached good faith requirements by failing to advise specifically when strike action would occur during a series of rolling stoppages.

"University management have spent ten's of thousands of dollars in litigation against AUS in the past 18 months, trying to prevent union members from exercising their lawful right to strike. In every single case the Court has completely rejected the University’s position.

The legal costs, staff time and negative publicity generated by these weak cases have not been in the interest of staff, students or the wider university community ", said Mr Peters.

"The AUS calls upon university management to come clean and tell the public how much of their money has been wasted on these futile exercises. They should be publicly accountable,” he said.

Mr Peters said union members hoped that AUS moves to negotiate national collective agreements later this year will bring an end to the litigious approach taken by Otago University. "Bargaining is about negotiation, not litigation," he said

Ends

For further comment please contact:
Mark Peters, Otago Branch President, Association of University Staff
Phone: 03 479- 7613 work
021 1414276 mobile
03 476 3530 home

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