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27 positions to be axed from College of Education

Association of University Staff

Media Release

Attn Education Reporter 23 June 2008

27 positions to be axed from Wellington College of Education

The Association of University Staff (AUS) says it is very disappointed that Victoria University plans to cut twenty-two academic and advisory and seven administrative positions from its College of Education by the end of this year.

Despite receiving 204 submissions from staff and students largely opposed to the cuts, the university announced today that cuts will proceed without any adjustment to its original proposal.

“We are not sure how 204 submissions can fail to have any impact on the number of proposed job loses when that number was certainly the result of some arbitrary assumptions,”AUS organiser Michael Gilchrist said today. “This outcome heightens our concerns about the university’s change processes. We believe that there should have been broader input on the decision panel.

“And now we believe it is vital that an observer nominated by staff be included on that panel when its members select who stays in employment and who is made redundant.

“Staff deserve at least that degree of assurance about the objectivity and impartiality of the process. However, we have so far encountered a staunch refusal from the university to make this process more open and transparent,” Mr Gilchrist said.

Commenting on the proposal to cut jobs to bring the College within budget, Mr Gilchrist blamed both the government and the university.

“The Government has effectively reduced the funding for teacher education by shifting resources toward research and away from teaching.

“But while the university continues to balance its books with such enthusiasm the pressures on quality teacher education caused by funding reductions will not be felt by government.

“We have faith in our members, who will continue to work to deliver the very best education for students at the college - but they deserve more support.” Mr Gilchrist concluded.

ENDS

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