INDEPENDENT NEWS

YET MORE EFFICIENCIES?

Published: Wed 8 Aug 2001 12:44 AM


The Association of University Staff [AUS] expressed some dismay at the Government’s tertiary sector efficiency study announced yesterday. “While we support a focus on identifying and encouraging collaborative strategies such as shared services and course delivery/design in the sector,” said Neville Blampied, AUS National President, “There is a depressing sense of déjà vu in the focus on finding more efficiencies in the system”.
Neville Blampied, continued, “The aim to wring even more efficiencies out of the system is a familiar one to university staff. It was the justification for the ill-fated green and white papers of the previous Government. What is needed now is not more investigation of efficiencies, but more Government commitment to public investment, international benchmarking and a sustained determination to reach essential targets for quality, participation and research achievement”.
“University staff have achieved more than a 10% increase in productivity since 1991. This is now saving the university system more than $50 million a year. Despite this, university pay has not even kept up with inflation since 1991 – and we now have a two-year, Government-imposed pay freeze in the sector. Staff are operating in a system that has unacceptably high student:staff ratios and is 590 academic staff short of early 1990s staffing levels. Hours of work and workloads are at unprecedented levels, in a university system that has already been cut to the bone – and operates at around 60% of the funding levels of Australian universities. How much more efficient can New Zealand universities and their staff get?!” asked Mr Blampied.
Contact:
Neville Blampied, 03 364 2199, 021 680 475
Rob Crozier, 04 915 6691, 021 375 661

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