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"First-week shutdown" planned at Victoria

Thursday, 17 June 2004

"First-week shutdown" planned at Victoria

General (non-academic) staff at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) have approved a comprehensive campaign of industrial action aimed at completely shutting down the administration of the university for the first week of its second teaching trimester which begins on 12 July.

General staff at VUW have rejected a pay offer of a 2.5% increase with an additional $350 one-off payment, and are seeking a 4% increase in line with their academic colleagues.

The plan of action, entitled "first-week shutdown" will comprise a comprehensive build-up of action including a communications black-out, withholding exam grades and refusing to process enrolments. That will be complemented with rolling strike action (or lightning strikes), and sustained strike action in selected key areas.

Academic staff have promised that they will provide financial and practical support for the action.

Association of University Staff (AUS) general staff spokesperson, Tony Quinn, said general staff at VUW did not accept the Vice-Chancellor's view that they are worth less than those at other universities around the country. "All others have been offered a salary increase of at least 3%," he said. "That is why we have had to adopt a plan of action that will, unfortunately, go beyond the usual protest and result in serious and sustained disruption."

"General staff at VUW will not be categorised as second-class employees by accepting lower salary increases than everywhere else in the sector," said Mr Quinn. "We will be asking students and the public to support us by encouraging the Vice-Chancellor to give general staff the salary recognition (and dignity) they deserve."

Mr Quinn said that informal discussions would continue with the University in the hope that agreement could be reached before the July disruption.


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