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University salaries lagging according to report

Association of University Staff

Media Release
Attn Education Reporter 28 May 2006

University salaries lagging according to new report

A new report shows that New Zealand universities salaries continue to lag well behind their overseas counterparts, giving rise to concerns that, unless significant action is taken, New Zealand universities will to lose staff in increasing numbers to Australia and other countries.

The report, University Staff Academic Salaries and Remuneration, prepared by the accounting firm Deloitte, compares figures from comparable universities in four other countries against which New Zealand competes for academic staff. A central conclusion of the report is that, while New Zealand salaries have increased at a greater rate than the other countries over the last three years, they remain significantly lower than Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, even when adjusted for purchasing power parity.

Association of University Staff national president, Associate Professor Maureen Montgomery, said that although the government had made available more than $61 million in new funding for salaries over the last three years, much more was needed if the pay differential between the countries was not to balloon. “The growth in academic salaries in this country is consistently less than growth in GDP, while the opposite occurs in Australia, and it is that country from which we face the greatest threat to recruitment and retention,” she said. “Australian university staff have lodged a claim to increase salaries by 27 percent over the next three years which they are confident of achieving,”

Associate Professor Montgomery said that the disparity in salaries is compounded by better non-salary benefits in other countries, such as superannuation where employers made a contribution of as much as 17 percent of salary.

The negotiation of collective employment agreements will begin in New Zealand universities in June.

The full report can be found at:


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