Polytech ponders cutting 41 staff
Aoraki Polytechnic is proposing the redundancy of 41 staff, to be replaced by 11 positions.
The staff review is on the back of Aoraki forecasting about 400 fewer equivalent fulltime students (EFTS) than budgeted and a deficit of $2.3 million for the year. The polytech had budgeted for 1773 EFTS for 2013.
Tertiary Education Union organiser Kris Smith said the affected positions were a mixture of fulltime and part-time staff, but could not confirm the mix. Teaching staff were not included in the review. Overall the organisation employs 170 fulltime equivalent staff.
"The proposal is for 41 positions to go and 11 to be created. This is just a proposal and we are confident we will be able to identify gaps and retain jobs.
"It does not affect teaching staff, it is the support staff behind the scenes."
The consultation will last a month.
Acting chief executive Alex Cabrera said there were various contributing factors.
"The current environment is very challenging with factors such as a strong economy, low unemployment and demand for more flexible educational delivery."
The proposed model had been put to staff for consultation to seek their feedback, he said, before decisions were made concerning the roles and structures for the future.
"Processes like this are always difficult, but like every organisation we need to ensure day-to-day sustainability and continue to adapt and evolve.
"We need to make our operation sustainable so we can invest in future developments and continue to provide quality education for the region. It's hard in the short term, but we need to ensure we can deliver the highest quality, most relevant service. The region deserves nothing less.
"Students can be assured that processes have been put in place to mitigate the potential impact on them."
No decisions will be made until all submissions have been fully considered, he said, and updates would be provided on the Aoraki website.
It has been a tough couple of years for the institution. In 2011 Aoraki had a $1.6m deficit and a shortfall of 232 EFTS.
There was a drop of 144 EFTS last year, though austerity measures enabled the polytech to achieve a break-even financial result.
Strategic alliances and collaborations were being considered with CPIT and Otago Polytechnic. An alliance with Lincoln University allows Aoraki to now offer degree programmes.
- © Fairfax NZ News