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Unions, universities welcome extra funding

28 June 2006

Unions, universities welcome extra funding

The combined university unions and vice-chancellors have welcomed the announcement today by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Dr Michael Cullen, that university funding will be boosted by $26 million per annum.

The additional funding has been designated towards enhancing the long-term quality and capability of the New Zealand university system, and comes as a result of tripartite discussions between the Government, Vice-Chancellors and the unions, constituting the first step in resolving funding and salary problems in the sector.

It has been agreed between the unions and vice-chancellors that the additional funding will be used to enhance salaries, which are seen as a priority area in terms of ensuring the long-term sustainability and international competitiveness of the sector.

Speaking on behalf of the combined university unions, Association of University Staff General Secretary, Helen Kelly, said that meetings would be now be convened with union members at the universities to determine the bargaining process for this year. “The tripartite process has proved to be a successful way of identifying and addressing issues within the university sector,” she said. “It is our expectation that the second stage of the tripartite process, already in train, will build on the collaboration between the parties.”

Professor Roy Sharp, Chair of the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, said that the additional funding was the first step in a process to address the funding and salary issues which had been identified. “It is gratifying that the tripartite process has achieved a concrete result for universities.”


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