“Students at UCOL are pleased that month long employment negotiations ended yesterday”, says Miranda Orpin, President of Association of Students at UCOL (AS@U).
Paul McElroy, the UCOL Chief Executive announced yesterday the conclusion of ongoing employment negotiations between UCOL and the Tertiary Education Union (TEU).
“Negotiations have been resoundingly unsuccessful up to this point, a several industrial actions had taken place including teaching strikes. Mr McElroy joined the negotiations as an observer when talks resumed on Monday 19th May. An offer of was made at this point, which the TEU have accepted,” says Orpin.
“Although some of the details are yet to be finalised, the TEU have accepted a 1.25 per cent pay increase effective May 30th 2014 with a further 1.25 per cent pay increase effective May 30th, 2015. General staff have also been awarded an extra day of annual leave, of which all is up for negotiation again in June 2016.
“The end of negotiations give students added security as the threat of sustained industrial action is removed. If senior management had been willing to reach a settlement sooner students would not have been collateral in the pay dispute.
“It is important in order to attract and retain our world-class teaching staff that we continue to pay them a fair wage. However, the tertiary sector continues to be underfunded and over time this has considerable impacts.
“Students are paying for more and getting less. Some tangible indicators that education quality is being reduced are: decreased front-line staff, increased student to staff ratios, less meaningful student feedback, , and a reduction in the diversity of classes available. The whole of UCOL and its surrounding communities are poorer for the loss of academic diversity”, said Orpin.