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Union Members at Open Polytechnic Walk off Job

24 November 2005

“Union Members at The Open Polytechnic
Walk off the Job”

Academic staff at the Open Polytechnic of NZ walked off the job this afternoon after considering and rejecting their employer’s revised pay offer. National Secretary of the Association of Staff in Tertiary Education Sharn Riggs said today that members were appalled that the pay offer their employer was making was less than that of inflation. “Effectively our members would be taking a pay cut if they accepted this offer,” she said.

The academic staff find it difficult to reconcile the employer’s offer of 2% with the increases afforded the Chief Executive Officer and with the institution reporting surpluses of $4m for the last two financial years. “This institution was among the top seven performers financially in the polytechnic sector returning a surplus of 5.6% in 2004,” Ms Riggs said

In addition she said that The Open Polytechnic Annual Report for 2004 shows that the institution has nearly $14m sitting as investments and one of the highest student to academic staff ratios.

Ms Riggs said “Members are dismayed at this pay offer and have made the difficult decision to walk off the job. Further industrial action is likely to follow if the employer does not see fit to make a pay offer in keeping with the polytechnic’s resources and in line with the kinds of pay increases lecturers in other polytechnics are getting”.

ENDS

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