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Maharey Urges Resumption Of University Pay Talks

Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey is urging university staff and their employers to go back to the negotiating table.

Industrial action is taking place today at four of the country’s eight universities.

Steve Maharey said that, while under law tertiary institutions have autonomy from the government with regard to industrial issues, he was urging both sides to resume negotiations in good faith in order to reach an acceptable settlement.

“The government is not a party to the negotiations which have broken down on some campuses. However we have introduced a new industrial relations framework which allows staff to organise collectively and bargain in good faith to share the gains.

“Staff at Otago and Auckland universities have used this framework to reach an acceptable settlement and I believe that staff and management at other universities can do the same.

“The government accepts that the sector was chronically underfunded through nine years of National party rule. We have moved to invest additional resources into the tertiary education sector as rapidly as possible and I remain committed to doing so in the future.

“The government cannot however be expected to take responsibility for autonomous investment decisions made in the past that have not always placed institutions in the best position.

“The new industrial relations framework provides an opportunity for both university management and their employees to enter into good faith negotiations and conclude acceptable agreements,” Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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