Staff Brace For Redundancies as Support Services Review Proposal is Revealed

University of Otago Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne has presented a business case proposal that will outline future organisation and management of support services at the Uuniversity to staff on Friday last week.

The meeting, which took place at the College of Education Auditorium, is thought not to have included details on the future of individual positions, but rather the “new structure [of the support services] in its broadest sense,” Tertiary Education Union (TEU) Organiser, Shaun Scott revealed.

Because Critic goes to print on Friday mornings, at the time of writing we are unsure of many of the specifics contained in the business case, although Hayne will certainly include information about how the process will move on from here, including the ability of staff to provide feedback on the proposal.

The meeting is being streamed live to university campuses across the country and is one of the final stages of the Support Services Review, which the university began in the middle of 2015.

“Anxiety on campus is palpable,” says Scott. “Every time I’m walking through campus I am approached by staff who are very concerned and worried by the proposal.”

Rumours continue to spread of redundancies totaling up to 300, although Scott was clear that the TEU’s position has “always been that any forced redundancies is a worst-case scenario.”

“There is a definite sense among [TEU] members and general staff that they’re not valued [by the University of Otago]”, Scott revealed, especially with the unfortunate timing and “unnecessary spending of some of the beautification and also the rebranding of their logo.”

This article first appeared in Issue 15, 2017.
Posted 11:01am Sunday 16th July 2017 by Joe Higham.