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July 12, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Universitites to make staff cuts

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Massey University staff join their Canterbury counterparts in facing an uncertain future after being told jobs are to be cut.

About 200 Massey staff were sent letters saying their role would be disestablished or their position changed.

Under the plan, 53 support staff members would lose their jobs, with 120 staff set to compete for only 67 new positions across the three campuses.

At the Manawatu campus, about 80 jobs would go and 50 positions would be created.

Proposed changes will save the university $2.4 million annually.

The review comes as Massey deals with reduced government funding and growing enrolments.

Victoria University staff can expect some changes, but the university will not face widespread planned redundancies.

“Victoria is constantly reviewing its structure to ensure it is best placed to meet its strategic goals,” a University spokesperson says.

“While some changes are likely to occur, we do not have any major projects on the horizon similar to those affecting staff numbers at other universities.”

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey told the Manawatu Standard the Massey changes are part of an initiative to make the university more efficient.

The announcement follows an earlier 30 redundancies and the disestablishment of three regional chief executives’ positions earlier this year.

Maharey says Massey could not rule out more redundancies, as universities face pressure to cut costs.

“Massey, like other universities, is moving to do what we do as efficiently and effectively as possible, to reduce our expenditure, enhance the quality of what we offer and to find new sources of revenue.”

Canterbury University staff have also been hit by funding shortages, with 95 people already made redundant and more redundancies to come.

Tertiary Education Union branch Vice-President Jennifer Middendorf says the redundancies at Canterbury have hurt staff morale and that some staff, programmes and students at the university now faced an uncertain future.

“The University of Canterbury said disestablished staff will be able to apply for new positions, but many of the new positions being created are at lower salaries, or require different qualifications than the disestablished positions.

“Since the beginning of this restructuring the university has redeployed only a handful of staff—far short of the 95 who have so far lost their jobs,” says Middendorf.

“It’s a travesty that Canterbury’s poor example is being adopted by Massey University as well. Let’s hope other universities do not follow suit.”

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