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Ban on student marks withdrawn

15 June 2005

Ban on student marks withdrawn

The threatened withholding of students' grades by university staff has been withdrawn while collective employment agreement negotiations continue between university unions and the country's university management.

Last week, university staff voted to withhold marks and take strike action over a two-week period from 20 July unless satisfactory progress was made in negotiations this week.

University staff are proposing new national collective employment agreements for academic and general staff, and are seeking a major salary boost to address what have been acknowledged by the Government and university employers to be inadequate salary levels in the sector. Industrial action was threatened after employers made salary offers of between 2 percent and 4.5 percent on the basis of single-employer employment agreements.

The negotiations, which resumed in Christchurch this week with the assistance of an industrial mediator, will continue on 20 and 21 June.

The combined unions' spokesperson, Jeff Rowe, said that the progress made in negotiation over the past two days had been sufficient to withdraw the threat of withholding of marks. He said, however, that proposed strike action may proceed if the negotiations do not reach a satisfactory conclusion.

Mr Rowe said he was unable to reveal details of the progress made in negotiations at this stage.

ENDS

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