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Industrial action to continue at Victoria

Tuesday, 8 June 2004

Negotiations fail, industrial action to continue at Victoria University

General (non-academic) staff at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) will continue with industrial action in support of a claim to increase salaries by 4%.

Negotiations between the Association of University Staff (AUS) and the employer took place on Thursday 3 June following strike action by AUS general staff on Monday 31 May. A revised offer of 2.5% plus a one-off payment of $350 to union members-only, made by the employer, was rejected at the negotiations.

AUS general staff spokesperson Tony Quinn said that the current salary offer from VUW was still the lowest offer made to any group of university staff in New Zealand in the current wage round. He said the revised offer was insufficient to be attractive to staff.

"Very little has changed as a result of negotiations; the offer is still low, and is still significantly short of what has been offered to academic staff at VUW," said Mr Quinn. "As a result of Monday's strike, feeling among the staff is high, and insubstantial offers only anger members more."

"The employer's message is clear; it says that the University believes general staff are not worth any more than 2.2%." said Mr Quinn. "The University has not argued that it cannot afford to pay; rather, it has elected to show it believes general staff are worth less than their academic counterparts by changing its offer only by a small amount."

Starting from tomorrow, the industrial action will include a number of activities including non-cooperation, a partial withdrawal of labour, and unannounced strike action in selected areas.

Union members will meet again on 16 June to consider further action.


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