More jobs to go at polytech

A further seven fulltime jobs could go at Aoraki Polytechnic on top of 24 redundancies confirmed yesterday.

A proposal was presented to staff by acting chief executive Alex Cabrera today. It would lead to the corporate and campus staff dropping from 40.59 fulltime equivalent (FTE) roles to 33.31.

Staff have until December 20 to make submissions, with a final announcement expected in January.

The first restructure was presented to staff in early October, with submissions closing on November 8. The final proposal meant overall 38 positions would be disestablished, to be replaced by 14.

The polytechnic is facing its third year of student losses and its second annual deficit.

The polytechnic council has been considering options to address challenges faced by the institution, with consulting firm Deloitte brought in to assist with the restructure.

The second restructure would see many executive roles disestablished. To go are: the deputy chief executive, executive director, finance and planning manager, accounts payable, planning and analysis officer, compliance and audit officer, customer services manager, marketing and communications, along with Ashburton, Oamaru and Christchurch campus managers and administrators.

These roles will be replaced with several restructured positions.

In the proposal, Cabrera outlined why the restructure was required.

"Since 2003, Aoraki increased employee numbers and the overhead structure grew accordingly. As a result personnel costs have increased over the last 13 years from $4.98 million in 2000 to $11.4m in 2012, with most of the increase in administration staff costs."

Aoraki had its largest number of students since 2000 in 2004 when it had 3458 equivalent fulltime students (EFTS) and employed 139 staff.

This year, with 1497 EFTS, 155 staff are employed. The last time students numbers were at a similar level was in 2002, with 1459, when it employed only 92 staff.

A further review is likely to occur of the teaching staff and of the courses being offered next year.

Tertiary Education Union organiser Kris Smith said both restructures should have been done at the same time. He criticised the consultation period being only 14 days.

"The third stage will be teaching staff next year. It is a very slow death by 1000 cuts."

The Timaru Herald