University staff welcome extra funds, more needed
Association of University Staff
Attn Education Reporter 22 May 2008
University staff welcome extra funding, but more needed
The Association of University Staff (AUS) has welcomed the announcement today by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Dr Pete Hodgson, that the tertiary education sector will receive $900 million in additional funding over the next four years.
Of that new funding, $15 million has been specifically allocated through the University Tripartite Forum to support recruitment and retention initiatives intended to increase the international competitiveness of New Zealand universities.
Responding to today’s Budget announcement, AUS National President, Associate Professor Maureen Montgomery, said that, although significant gains had been made in recent budgets towards addressing funding and salary problems within the university sector, the momentum needed to be increased further still to ensure the international reputation and competitiveness of the New Zealand university system. “The need for major funding increases has been made the more pressing with the announcement in the recent Australian Budget of more than $A2 billion in new policy initiatives for higher education in that country,” she said. “Their Budget announcement included the establishment of a new $A11 billion Education Investment Fund and a one-off allocation of $A500 million for capital development.”
According to Associate Professor Montgomery, the inclusion of funding targeted at the recruitment and retention of university staff illustrates the benefits of unions, vice-chancellors and the Government working constructively together. “We know that the tripartite process has been successful in achieving consensus and providing results for universities, including university staff,” she said. “What is still need though is a long-term strategy to deal with under funding and to increase salaries further still.”
Associate Professor Montgomery said that AUS will work with the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors Committee to determine the implications of today’s announcement for the current bargaining process.