Auckland Uni ordered to reinstate sacked lecturer
Auckland University ordered to reinstate sacked lecturer
The University of Auckland has been ordered to reinstate a permanent lecturer it sacked after refusing to confirm his appointment at the end of an initial period of employment. The Employment Relations Authority has also ordered the University to pay the senior lecturer $10,000 compensation and reimburse all salary lost since his dismissal in November until his reinstatement takes effect.
Employment Authority Member James Wilson has also recommended that the University, in consultation with the Association of University Staff (AUS), review its continuation policy to ensure it meets minimum standards of natural justice, is available to and understood by staff and to ensure that those charged with administering the policy are provided with guidance and support regarding their responsibilities.
The Employment Authority ruled that the lecturer, who had been engaged on an “on-going”, “tenurable appointment”, subject to the completion of an initial four-year term, had been unjustifiably dismissed after being told by University management he had not met the standards required of a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland.
AUS General Secretary Helen Kelly said AUS had told the University that its continuation policy and the process it was using to dismiss him were unfair and did not meet the basic standards of natural justice. “Instead of listening and changing tack, the University continued to use the policy and, in doing so, caused the AUS member great distress,” Ms Kelly said. “Because of an unfair policy, he was powerless to defend himself.”
Helen Kelly said the University’s disregard for staff and its legal obligations was not the behaviour expected from a large and well-resourced public sector institution with a statutory obligation to be a good employer.”
The AUS will now work with the University to review its appointment and continuation processes.