INDEPENDENT NEWS

University staff support student demands

Published: Wed 8 Oct 2003 05:02 PM


The Massey University Branch of the Association of University Staff (AUS) is supporting student calls for government to increase funding to the university sector, and to improve the ratio of staff to students.
Students occupied Massey University’s registry building today, but were later removed with up to 10 being arrested.
Massey AUS Branch President, Harvey Jones, said that staff and students were all affected by government’s under-funding of universities, staff through low salaries and students through high tuition fees. “We believe the University should reinvest its recent sixteen million dollar surplus on improving staff remuneration and workloads, and reducing tuition fees,” said Mr Jones. “While the university has claimed the fee rises will improve the quality of education any increased revenue has been allocated for spending on new buildings”.
Mr Jones said that government and university management were both promoting policies aimed at dividing staff and students. “Instead,” he said, “the needs of both groups should be met by government through increased funding to the university sector”.
While university staff have recently claimed a 10% increase in salaries for next year, Mr Jones said this should not come at the expense of students.
Mr Jones also criticised the University’s management of today’s student occupation. “The heavy handed removal of the student occupiers without negotiation is reminiscent of the way in which Massey University has treated staff in the past. We hope this is not a signal of the way in which the university will treat any future disagreements with its staff and students,” said Mr Jones.

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