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Tertiary Strike Direct Result Of Govt Promises

4 March 2002

Tertiary Strike Direct Result Of Government Promises

The Tertiary Education Minister and his colleagues have very short memories on sorting pay deals for university staff, says National's Tertiary Education spokesperson Maurice Williamson.

"It was only a short time ago, while in Opposition, that Steve Maharey and other now-Government Ministers were running the line that National was badly underfunding tertiary education and that academic staff were getting a raw deal.

"We'll fix it - they promised - as they built up a huge level of expectation amongst university staff.

"But the reality is now very different as strikes over "unacceptably low" pay offers go ahead at Canterbury, Waikato and Massey Universities today, and there are no deals signed yet at Victoria and Lincoln.

"I know the sort of expectation Steve Maharey created for these staff so he shouldn't be surprised to see some of them rejecting offers around two and three percent.

"What will be interesting is how much political support Mr Maharey and his colleagues get from the academic sector at the next election," says Mr Williamson.


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