From the CEO Dr Wanda Korndorffer
To: All ASTE members
From: Wanda Korndörffer, Chief Executive
Date: 4 November, 1999
Dear ASTE member
Last friday John Huston received a fax from Mike Dawson of ASTE Central Southern Regional office. It advised him that certain material had "been placed in a sealed envelope and placed in a locked box" and placed in the hands of a third party, away from polytechnic premises. I understand that this material included marked assignments and assessment results belonging to students.
Naturally, I was appalled that this action could have been contemplated. I immediately contacted our lawyers and placed a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner. I was also advised that we should place the matter in the hands of the police; I was, and am, reluctant to do this.
In the initial letter ASTE advised that this decision had been made by the stopwork meeting.
On Monday Mike Dawson wrote to John saying that although the decision had been made at the meeting, nothing had happened and that no material had been removed from campus.
Frankly these contradictory assertions leave me anxious. I have to seriously consider the possibility that some action of this type has happened. Subsequent conversations with ASTE officials leave me unconvinced that it has not.
I have to tell you that APSU and OPSA are equally concerned.
So that I can give students, their representatives and our Council appropriate assurances, I need an assurance from you.
I ask you to sign the declaration below and return it to me by Wednesday 10 November. If you do not want to do this, I require you to make an appointment with me to discuss the matter and explain your reason for not signing. You may wish to bring a support person with you to that meeting.
I confirm that, as at today's date, all student material in my possession is being dealt with properly. I have not passed any material belonging to students/or affecting their academic progress to an unautorised third party.
To: All Staff
From: Wanda Korndörffer, Chief Executive
Subject: Settlement of ASTE negotiations
Date: 2 November, 1999
This morning, ASTE members accepted a settlement of their dispute, following protracted discussions between the two negotiating teams yesterday. As a result, normal teaching will continue until the end of the academic year.
I am delighted that the difficult events of the past few weeks have resulted in a settlement that recognises the value of the work performed by teaching staff as well as allowing the Polytechnic to make some progress in terms of flexibility of delivery.
Most importantly, I am relieved that we can now all get on with the important business of giving our students the best possible end to their academic year.
There now remains the important task of healing the divisions that have arisen in recent times. Despite all that has been said and done, I know that teaching and administrative staff, whether they are union members or not, are committed to achieving first-class outcomes for students and for the Polytechnic. Now that this brief disagreement is behind us, we can concentrate on getting on with what we do well, free of recrimination or rancour.
For my part, I am adamant that what is done, is done. I hope and trust that this will be reciprocated.
However, I would like to address one outstanding issue that seems to have caused a great deal of bitterness.
It has been suggested that I have refused, or been reluctant, to talk directly with staff.
My position is clear. I am always prepared to talk with staff, individually and in groups, about their concerns and aspirations. Over the past 18 months, literally hundreds of you have done just that. I will continue to meet and talk with staff from all areas.
However, during contract negotiations, a different process is in place. Union members nominate a negotiating team that reports to members. I appoint a similar group that reports to me. It is the function of these teams to meet and talk about the issues that are important. This is the practice that has been used successfully in this and other Polytechnics for some time.
Last week, I was constantly in touch with members of my team. I had, and have, complete confidence in their ability to negotiate openly and in good faith. For their part, the team members had a clear understanding of what issues I considered important.
Last night's settlement is proof that , left to themselves, the negotiators on both sides were able to make progress without my being involved directly in the meetings.
These issues are now behind us. It is now time to repair relationships and build for the future. I would like to thank all those who have helped to bring about this settlement.
To: ASTE members
From: Wanda Korndörffer
Subject: Contract negotiations
Date: 26 October, 1999
Dear ASTE Members
It is with some sadness I write to you. The response from your last stop work meeting gave the clear impression that you were unwilling to even talk about the issues which I raised with you. I believe these issues are critical to the future development of Otago Polytechnic.
I have worked, and will continue to work, to ensure that staff are kept in employment. This has been evident in the current academic restructuring. Some of our colleagues in the polytechnic sector have introduced substantial redundancies as part of their restructuring.
Against financial pressure to do so, I have consistently resisted the notion of redundancies as part of our academic review @ and I will continue to do so. I want to protect jobs in this institution as far as possible for the good of staff, students and our community. However, we need to discuss how we can introduce more flexibility for the future.
Management has spoken to your negotiating team which states they are unable to discuss any of the issues, as their members have not given them a mandate to do so.
I am willing to keep talking to see if there is a way to resolve these extremely important issues. I hope you give your negotiating team the mandate to do so.
If you decide to strike, I would ask that you give management notice of this so that students can be properly informed and plans made for your absence. I hope that students will not suffer for a dispute with your employer.
If a strike happens, all parties to the strike will be suspended pursuant to section 65(1) of the Employment Contracts Act 1991 for the period of the strike. Those members who are not party to the strike, but turn up to work should notify their Head of Department that they are at work.
I sincerely hope that these issues can be resolved.
From before the dispute
Recommended diet for stressed employees/students/people
This diet is designed to help you cope with the stress that
builds up during the day.
1 slice wholemeal toast
8 oz. skimmed milk
4 oz. lean grilled chicken breast
4 oz. steamed spinach
1 cup herb tea
1 rice cake
The rest of the rice cakes in the packet
2 cartons Haagen Daas ice cream, nuts, cherries and whipped cream
1 jar hot fudge sauce
2 loaves garlic bread
4 cans or 1 large jug Coke
1 large sausage, mushroom and cheese pizza
3 Snickers bars
Late Evening News:
Entire frozen Sara Lee cheesecake (eaten directly from freezer)
Rules for this Diet
1. If you eat something and no one sees you eat it, it has no
2. If you drink a diet drink with a chocolate bar, the calories in the chocolate bar are cancelled out by the diet drink.
3. When you eat with someone else, calories don't count if you do not eat more than they do.
4. Foods used for medicinal purposes NEVER count, such as hot chocolate,brandy, toast and Sara Lee Cheesecake.
5. If you fatten up everyone else around you, then you look thinner.
6. Movie related foods do not have additional calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel.
Examples: Fruit Gums, buttered popcorn,
pizza, hot dogs, crisps and Poppets.
7. Broken biscuits contain no calories. The process of breaking causes calorie leakage.
8. Things licked off knives and spoons have no calories if you are in the process of preparing something.
9. Foods that have the same colour have the same number of calories.
Examples are: spinach and pistachio ice cream; mushrooms and mashed potatoes.
10 Chocolate is a universal colour and may be substituted for any other food colour.
11. Anything consumed while standing has no calories. This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass.
12. Anything consumed from someone else's plate has no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to his/her plate. (We ALL know how
calories like to cling!)
Remember: STRESSED spelled backwards is DESSERTS