INDEPENDENT NEWS

Victoria Staff Strike "Unconscionable"

Published: Mon 11 Oct 1999 01:38 PM
Victoria University of Wellington's academics again went on strike this afternoon, despite expressions of concern from staff and students over the impact their action was having on exam preparations.
Victoria University's 15,000 students were divided over the industrial action, with a large number believing that the dispute should be settled between the University and the union, instead of impacting on the vital final days of term.
The lecturer who said to a class last week that, if he had the choice, "I personally would not go on strike" told students complaining of the impact upon their exam preparations that "some of us [the staff] are quite frustrated as well."
"It's a nightmare, and I can't wait to get it over and done with" he told a concerned class.
Students seemed to agree, with a Law Faculty noticeboard sporting an anonymous, critical poster. The poster asked if, given the timing of the strike, industrial action would classify under the rules of tort law as 'the active extortion of a benefit in unconscionable circumstances'. A number of people had noted on the poster that they believed it did.
Victoria University President of Prebble's Rebels, Nick Archer, said "the strike is over employment issues which students should not be involved in. The union is pursuing action despite the negative effects upon students far outweighing any possible benefit which the staff stand to gain."
"This is another militant union pursuing a course of action which is not in the interest of its members." Nick Archer said.
Mr Archer also pointed out that increased powers to strike would be given to unions under a Labour/Alliance government should one be elected in November.
There are four more days of classes before Victoria University students head into end of year exams.
ENDS
For more information, contact:
Nick Archer (+64) (04) 9344647
victoria@rebels.org.nz

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