History of the award round
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20-12-99 No further action against member. A member involved in the industrial action and who had been sent a letter threatening disciplinary action; has been advised by ASTE South that there will be no further action.
10-12-99 Contract ratified. Otago Polytechnic ASTE members have ratified the agreement reached with the employer.
Ratification meeting Friday 19th November. A secret ballot will be held in the Student Centre for members to ratify the award negotiations.
CEO requests ASTE members to sign letter. A letter has been sent to ASTE members regarding activity in the recently resolved dispute. More...
CEO asks for healing of divisions. Dr Wanda Korndorffer has asked staff to put the recent problems behind them and counters criticism that she has played too low a part in negotiations More...
Agreement reached!! Talks between representatives of ASTE and the CEO lasted until 7-00pm. The result was a proposal that was accepted by the two negotiating parties. More...
"If only I'd listened to my dad." ASTE information turns up in unexpected places, even high school examinations. More...
Feeling of unity among staff. The industrial action showed the capability and creativity of the Otago Polytechnic staff. It illustrated staff strengths in working to a common goal as well as support for each other. Staff resolved to build on the improved communication with each other and the association.
Students want to know about reclaiming fees. The consumer guarantees act (1993) provides for redress if a service is not satisfactory. More ...
3-12-99 Recrimination over industrial action. A member who was involved in the industrial action has been sent a letter threatening disciplinary action. Actions by an ASTE member who took part in the recent industrial action have been identified by the CEO as likely to require disciplinary action. The event relates to strategies discussed at the stop-work meeting that were intended to support the obtaining of the collective employment contract. The CEO has alleged that the member suggested the setting of internet default start-up screens of some polytechnic computers to the ASTE information page. ie: this site. This was in fact never done, however the CEO regards suggestion of such action as a disciplinary offence. ASTE have been acting on behalf of the member and had written to the CEO explaining the union position with respect to employment law. However, ASTE (Otago) understand that the CEO has replied but will not change her position. Dialogue is still proceeding.
11-11-99 In order to ratify the award contract ASTE members will meet between 12-00 and 2-00 at the Student Centre on Friday to formally vote on the proposed settlement. Members unable to attend the meeting will need to ensure Linda Kinniburgh (Nursing) has their votes by 11-30 Wednesday (17th).
5-11-99 A letter has been sent to ASTE members from the CEO Dr Wanda Korndorffer concerning a issue relating to a suspected ASTE action. This involved a suggestion that student marks and exam scripts may have been held by a third person during the recently resolved dispute. ASTE has retracted any suggestion that the union is involved any such action. It is up to individuals to make their own decision relating to this letter. ASTE does not have any concerns with staff signing the letter.
3-11-99 Well attended stopwork meeting. The 8-00am to 10-00am stopwork meeting to discuss the employer's offer was attended by an increased number of members. At the meeting the ASTE negotiating team presented the offer arrived at by the ASTE team and management. More...
2-11-99. A two hour meeting of ASTE members and the negotiation team at the Student Centre outlined the process of the previous day's meeting and detailed a proposal developed by the two parties. The meeting described the start of the negotiations at 2-30pm even though they were scheduled to begin at 10-30am. Negotiations tended to include a form of "shuttle diplomacy" between a representative of the management negotiating team and the CEO.
Although it appeared at one stage that positions were intractable, a late break-through resulted in a position that the negotiating team felt they could take back to members.
The proposal was circulated at today's (tuesday) meeting and there was considerable discussion. The meeting voted to accept the proposal as negotiated. The document would still have to be ratified by a secret ballot.
Talks will continue concerning a smaller number of ASTE members who are on individual contracts.
Vote of thanks to negotiation team. Members were united in their support of the efforts made by the ASTE negotiating team. The campaign was well organised and professional. The meeting voted to take action to formally recognise the contribution made by the branch chair.
1-11-99 Award talks still proceeding this afternoon. Talks between representatives of ASTE and our employer were scheduled to start at 10-30 this morning (Monday). It is believed that actual negotiations did not begin until much later.At present (Mon. 3-43 PM) there has been no statement from either party. Dr Korndorffer is involved in negotiations. This site will be updated around 5-00pm if there is anything to report.
Student support heartening. The support of students was one of the features of ASTE staff industrial action. Many of the staff have said that they would take a much more active role in future student issues. More...
"The union and the polytechnic will met on Monday to discuss the tutorial collective employment contract, but it is not known if if chief executive Dr Wanda Korndorffer will agree to the union's wish she be present.... education services and external relations manager Ross White welcomed the union's decision to return to work and hoped some progress could be made at Monday's meeting" (ODT 29-10-99)
Bill English recommends that staff ask council to address the issue of the performance of the CEO, Wanda Korndorffer. The Treasurer noted that 19 other polytechnics have settled and did not publicly express an opinion when asked "is what's happening fair?" More....
29-10-99 Nick Smith, the Minister of Education, made no comment on the performance of the CEO at Otago Polytechnic, preferring to leave the answers of those questions to the treasurer.
Staff want comparable conditions to other polytechnics. If only student fee rises could be kept to the 2% that the polytech staff are asking. More...
29-10-99 message from representative of mamagement negotiating team:
We have been advised by aste that staff will be at work from this morning onwards (Friday). We can all be pleased about this
Sometimes the first few days after industrial action workplaces can be tense. Industrial action is not easy for anyone and we encourage all staff to respect colleagues differing positions and opinions as we all return to normal work
We look forward to working through the issues: negotiations will resume on Monday.
ASTE Collective Employment Contract Negotiations
Update 18 October 1999
A well attended Paid Stopwork meeting was held on Thursday 14 October. Thanks to all who attended and to the 30 or so staff who couldn't attend because they were off campus or because of pressures of work but sent apologies and messages of support.
A paper from Wanda Korndorffer was distributed at the meeting. The paper essentially reiterated the Otago Polytechnic claims on Tutor Discretionary Leave and Hours of Work and included an offer of a bonus payment with no mention of a specific figure. The meeting discussed this paper in detail and considered each of the employer's outstanding claims separately. All claims were rejected unanimously.
The substantive resolutions passed are:
Salary Claim That this meeting instructs the ASTE negotiating Team to stick with the claim for parity with the Group and other Polytechnics who have concluded a 2% plus 2% settlement, reserving the right to increase this claim in the event negotiations break down to bring the ASTE Otago Polytechnic salary scales into line with those of the Group Polytechnics. UNANIMOUS
Industrial Action That if agreement is not reached by Tuesday, 26 October 1999, that a Stop Work Meeting be held at 8am on Wednesday, 27 October 1999, to consider this meeting's recommendation that strike action be initiated. UNANIMOUS
Bonus Payments That this meeting reject the offer of a bonus payment in any form. UNANIMOUS
Further changes Following full discussion on each of the claims being sought by the employer, the meeting resolved that no further changes be agreed to. UNANIMOUS
Copies of Wanda Korndorffer's paper are available from Kris Smith, ASTE Assistant Secretary, Southern Region, Ph 4790085.
ASTE has advised Wanda Korndorffer of the outcome of the Stopwork Meeting. It is possible that further dates will be set to continue discussions this week. We will notify members on progress and update through the email. Please note that the Stop Work Meeting may be postponed if we achieve a proposed settlement in the meantime.
In the event that ASTE members do need to take industrial action we are preparing a number of resources including an information leaflet for students and an information leaflet for non ASTE members and other staff .
As decided at the Paid Stopwork meeting on Thursday 14 October a further Stopwork meeting is to be held this Wednesday 27 October. At the meeting members will discuss any further position papers put to ASTE by Wanda Korndorffer. The meeting will also consider the following recommendation from last weeks Stopwork meeting:
"That if agreement is not reached by Tuesday, 26 October 1999, that a Stop Work Meeting be held at 8am on Wednesday, 27 October 1999, to consider this meeting's recommendation that strike action be initiated." UNANIMOUS
Number 1 28 October 1999
Why are ASTE members taking industrial action?
Our collective employment contract expired on 30 June 1999.
The CEO is insisting on staff giving up leave and their right to control the number of evenings and/or weekends they work.
No offer to increase salary scales has been made by the CEO.
What do ASTE members want?
To retain existing conditions of employment. Nineteen other Polytechnics (of 24) have settled their collective contracts, held on to conditions of employment and have received a 2% cost of living increase per annum for the next two years.
NOTE: In the last 10 years academic staff salaries (for ASTE members) has increased by 11.5% while inflation has run at 19% over this same period.
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