Wages static de­spite sur­plus

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By JIM CHIPP

Whi­tireia Polytech­nic had an ex­cel­lent year in 2010, ac­cord­ing to chair­man Roger Sowry, but the staff’s union does not agree.

In the 2010 an­nual re­port Mr Sowry said that, de­spite a cap on fund­ing for do­mes­tic study, in­ter­na­tional en­rol­ments had lifted the to­tal roll by 8 per cent and the poly­tech had a $3.77 mil­lion sur­plus.

How­ever, Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion Union na­tional sec­re­tary Sharn Riggs said much of the sur­plus was at­trib­ut­able to lack of pay in­creases since the staff col­lec­tive con­tract ex­pired in March 2009.

Also, Ms Riggs said, the staff were hav­ing to deal with in­creas­ing stu­dent- teacher ra­tios.

Wages and other staff costs amounted to $27.628 mil­lion of Whi­tireia’s spend­ing.

‘‘The good­will from our mem­bers is im­mense and I think if that we quan­ti­fied it, that sur­plus would dis­ap­pear pretty damn quickly.’’

Whi­tireia’s tu­tors are teach­ing more stu­dents.

‘‘Deal­ing with higher staff ra­tios with­out any pay in­crease starts to wear a bit thin,’’ she said.

De­spite the lack of pay in­creases the poly­tech’s other ex­penses are ris­ing sharply, she said. The bill for con­sul­tants’ ser­vices was up from $ 284,000 to $336,000, and travel and ac­com­mo­da­tion costs were up 13 per cent.

To­tal board mem­bers fees rose from $59,000 to $105,000, de­spite there be­ing three fewer board mem­bers, and five of the board, in­clud­ing the chair, were shared with Weltec.

‘‘We’ve got a smaller coun­cil but they are be­ing paid al­most twice as much as the pre­vi­ous coun­cil,’’ she said.

Polytech­nic chair­man Roger Sowry said the un­re­solved con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions, and the po­ten­tial back­pay be­cause of it, do no im­pact on the sur­plus.

‘‘No, there is no con­tin­gent li­a­bil­ity be­cause there is no agree­ment,’’ he said.

Mr Sowry de­clined to com­ment fur­ther while the con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions were con­tin­u­ing.

Bi­valve beau­ties: Pau­ata­hanui’s new cockle shells have the dual pur­pose of beau­ti­fy­ing the vil­lage and draw­ing at­ten­tion to the en­trance to the wildlife re­serve. Pic­tured from left are Porirua City Coun­cil’s Pau­ata­hanui pro­ject man­ager Ja­son Harvey-Wills, Pau­ata­hanui Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion sec­re­tary Alan Gray, and coun­cil land­scape ar­chi­tect Andrew Gray.

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