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University negotiations heading for mediation


University negotiations heading for mediation

An industrial mediator has been brought in to try and break an impasse between university employers and unions after attempts to negotiate new national collective employment agreements across the sector reached an impasse.

At stop work meetings held over the last two weeks, university staff comprehensively rejected salary offers of between 2% and 2.8% made by the employers to renew current enterprise-based collective employment agreements. The university employers have refused to agree to national collective agreements.

Staff are currently engaged in low level protest activity which is concentrated at sending a message to Government and their employers that significant salary increases and national collective employment agreements are needed in the university sector, and must be funded by Government. The protest action, which began yesterday, will continue until the end of next week.

Combined university unions' advocate, Association of University Staff Industrial Officer Jeff Rowe, said that unless significant progress is made, a recommendation will be made to union members to take up to ten days strike action. Support for such action was foreshadowed at recent meetings.

Mediation is scheduled to take place in Wellington on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 March.

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