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SIT Tutors Call for Strike

12 September 2005 News Release

Southern Institute of Technology Tutors have called for strike action from Monday of next week after the breakdown of Collective Agreement negotiations.

The Tutors, who are members of the Association of Staff in Tertiary Education (ASTE) feel that their contribution to the success of the Zero Fees Scheme (and the large profitability announced by the CEO) has not been recognised.

The institution was among the top six performers in the Polytechnic sector returning a surplus of 9.4% in 2004. This surplus is more than three times higher than the surplus recommended by the Tertiary Education Monitoring Unit.

In addition SIT’s Annual Report for 2004 shows that the institution has one of the highest Student to Tutor ratio’s and yet its’ average personnel cost is at the lower end for all in the polytechnic sector.

Kris Smith, southern Regional field Officer for the Association of Staff in Tertiary Education said that tutors are concerned about the resignation of highly skilled tutors. Those staff departing are citing the increased pressures which are placed on them as a result of the Zero Fees Scheme.

The institution has offered 3.25% for the first year and 3% for the second year. Some Polytechnics have paid considerably more than this and their financial status is less healthy yet those institutions are prepared to acknowledge and value the contribution of their staff.

“The tutors clearly believe that their contribution is worth more than this” said Ms Smith. “The tutors recognise that SIT is a very important institution to Southland and that the Zero Fees Scheme is an integral part of the institution’s success but they feel management should recognise that this success would not have been achieved without the significant goodwill of staff”.


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