Waiariki strike decision due today

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Waiariki TIASA union will vote on whether or not to strike due to pay disputes today.

About 130 of the institute's allied staff - which includes non-academic staff such as human resources, administration, payroll and ground staff - voted unanimously at a stopwork meeting on Friday to reject the bargaining position they say Waiariki has taken.

They instructed their union, TIASA, to hold an urgent vote on strike action, which was due to happen today.

The union said members were seeking a $900 (with a minimum of 1.3 per cent) flat rate increase to salaries and an extension of the collective agreement so that it also covered 10 union members who worked at Waiariki's's Holiday Park.

However Waiariki Institute of Technology said they had been in close dialogue with TIASA for a number of weeks regarding the pay offer under the collective agreement which has culminated in what they say is a fair offer that extends to all TIASA members.

"The offer is fair and aligns with similar pay awards to other Waiariki staff, the tertiary sector as well as the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic whom Waiariki will be combining with to form a new institution," chief executive Professor Margaret Noble said.

Waiariki said it had also previously sought to enter into open negotiations with TIASA for a collective agreement for the Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park staff.

She described the potential strike action coinciding with orientation week as "disappointing".

Professor Noble said Waiariki was disappointed that TIASA has rushed to ballot for strike action during the first week of term for the students from Rotorua, Tokoroa, Taupo and Whakatane.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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