10 Sep 2016

ERA to hear dispute between Vic Uni and union

8:45 pm on 10 September 2016

A dispute over wages and allegedly anti-union job advertisements is heading to the Employment Relations Authority.

Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn campus.

Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn campus. Photo: Supplied / GoogleMaps

Tensions between Victoria University and the Tertiary Education Union reached a head last week after a job listing by the university offered a far greater salary to those not on a collective agreement.

The university recently advertised for a librarian and offered those on a union agreement a $41,874 - $73,910 salary. It offered $57,280 - $78,760 to those not on an agreement.

The union said the ad breached good faith.

"I think that it gives the impression to people who work at the university and are members of the union, that the university favours people who aren't in a union," said the union's deputy secretary, Nanette Cormack.

"It also makes people who don't work at the university question the point of joining a union as it would be a disadvantage."

In response, the university said union members were offered the same pay rates as other staff.

Meanwhile, the two sides have reached a stalemate in bargaining over wages, but the university said it had made a fair offer.

"It's a deeply mysterious situation to us," said the university's vice-chancellor, Grant Guildford.

"For some reason they're refusing to accept that on behalf of the union staff."

The union has now lodged a statement of problem with the Employment Relations Authority, effectively asking it to investigate both issues.

It said it wanted the job ads removed and its members paid a fair wage.

The authority can force both sides into mediation.

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