A small group of Lincoln University staff responsible for young students is fighting for equality.
Residential services staff employed at Lincoln's Telford site are employed by a different company and are not covered by the same collective agreement as those working at the main campus.
The Tertiary Education Union has begun bargaining with university management to get eight staff included in the services staff collective agreement, so they would be subject to fairer working conditions and financial compensation for overtime work.
Union deputy secretary Nanette Cormack said Telford hostel staff were not fairly compensated for the high level of responsibility in their work.
"People living on campus [at Telford] tend to be 16 or 17, so residential staff have quite a responsibility," Cormack said.
"They are looking after about 90 people at any time.
"Lincoln has security staff on site at all times. There is no security at Telford."
In comparison, students living on site at Lincoln tended to be older.
Staff at the Telford site did not get paid overtime or weekend rates for their roles, she said.
At the main campus "everybody else gets time-and-a-half and in some cases double pay", for overtime Cormack said.
The situation began early last year when Lincoln University merged with Telford Rural Polytechnic.
Telford staff, now employed by Lincoln University, retained their jobs, working conditions and pay rates, "probably a minimum of $15.60 an hour".
Staff performing similar jobs at the main campus are employed by Lincoln's subsidiary company Lincoln Hospitality.
"They are doing the same work but are covered by two different employers," Cormack said.
"The issue for us is fairness.
"We don't think it is fair that this group of people should have a different collective agreement than ones at Lincoln University."
The union will meet university management again tomorrow.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Which do you think is the quote of the year?Related story: Best quotes? Cats, sweat and Aaron Gilmore