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Mediation Fails to Avert Strike Action

Association of Staff in Tertiary Education
ASTE Te Hau Takitini o Aotearoa


Mediation Fails to Avert Strike Action


Eleventh hour mediation talks between the Association of Staff in Tertiary Education (ASTE) and polytechnic employers have failed to resolve the differences between the two parties. National President Lloyd Woods said today, “the employers brought nothing new to the table. The question our members will be asking is “ what was the point?” This only adds to the significant frustration members have felt during this whole process”. He went on to say that despite mediation being requested by the employers they clearly had no intention of revising their position.

Earlier this week members at the six polytechnics voted overwhelmingly to take strike action to achieve an acceptable settlement in their negotiations for a multi-employer collective agreement in the tertiary education sector. The strike ballot has given the union an overwhelming mandate to call for strike action in protest at the failure of negotiations. “we will be actioning that mandate”, said Lloyd Woods today.

Lloyd Woods said that polytechnic staff felt they had no other choice but to take this decision after 16 days of negotiation and a day of mediation have resulted in no change to the pay offer. “This would see some of our members receiving a nil pay rise and at the same time, all would see an erosion of their conditions. This is not acceptable”, he said.

He went on to say, “ASTE has left the door open and invites the employers to work with the union to reach an acceptable settlement and to stop this strike. We went into this mediation with a genuine view that we could reach an acceptable settlement. The employers clearly don’t see it that way”.

Academic staff at UNITEC, Waikato Institute of Technology, Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki, Northland Polytechnic, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and the Whitireia Community Polytechnic will be taking part in the strike action.

END

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