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University's Stance Upheld In Good Faith Decision

Media release
1 May 2008


University's Stance Upheld In Good Faith Decision

The Employment Relations Authority has confirmed that The University of Auckland acted in good faith when it simultaneously offered salary increases to union and non-union staff.

The Association of University Staff (AUS) had claimed that the University's actions in offering salary increases to non-union staff were a breach of the good faith provisions of the Employment Relations Act unless such offers were first discussed with it.

The Employment Relations Authority said it could not ascertain "any entitlement for the Union to insist that it has prior knowledge of such offers".

As a gesture of good faith the Vice-Chancellor had "advised the Union of the offer to staff on individual employment agreements (IEAs) simultaneously with staff on IEAs receiving the offer".

The Authority also rejected AUS claims that the University had breached the umbrella agreement covering the Universities Tripartite Process, a process involving the government, the Vice-Chancellors of eight universities and eight unions working together to consider issues affecting the university sector, in particular, funding and resourcing issues.

Welcoming the Authority's decision the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, said it established an important point of principle.

"We have been working very hard to increase University of Auckland salaries, which over the last four years have risen by 23.5 percent for academic staff and 19.5 percent for general staff. We have operated on the principle that staff should be treated equally in this process, irrespective of whether or not they were union members, and I am pleased that the Authority has upheld that principle."


ENDS

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