AUSPS Update April 2015 - Association of The University of the South Pacific
AUSPS EC met with MGT on Tuesday 16th April 2015 to discuss some pending issues and other issues affecting staff as discussed below.
1. ER Polices
The HR has provided the draft ER policies for consideration and AUSPS will compile its submission after it has received comments from its membership.
Action: Please do take time to go through the policies since they provide rules and procedures for addressing employee-related matters and resolving problems in the workplace.
2. Excessive heat in rooms which is both a health and safety hazard
Members of the EC strongly raised this issue with the MGT and requested that measures be taken to mitigate the risks of excessive heat. The MGT agreed that heat is a problem and that temperature and humidity were quite high during the early parts of the year. MGT has agreed to look immediately into alternatives to make the office, learning, teaching and research environment more conducive.
3. Staff reviews deferred since November 2014
AUSPS EC raised concerns that various communication from Faculties and HR on the procedures (QoT, Research Outputs etc) for the next staff review kept changing. Staff were confused and thus created much anxiety. The MGT agreed with this and has asked HR to send a clear communication to all staff on the procedures that will be implemented in the next staff review.
4. Staff recruitment at TA and AL levels
In the last quarterly meeting of 2014, MGT had proposed to have PhDs as the minimum qualification required criteria for ALís and a Masters Degree for TAís respectively. AUSPS queried why some sections had already implemented the criteria when the matter was still in discussion. AUSPS argued that the matter was only brought to the attention of the EC in one meeting last year and that the members of the EC strongly objected to the proposal.
MGT agreed that the matter was still in discussion and has asked HR not to implement the new criteria.
5. Medical Insurance Logistics
AUSPS raised the logistics of the 2014 medical insurance and how the failure of the Finance department to make the necessary deductions for the first three months of 2014 had affected many staff at the beginning of 2015. Many staff had to clear the outstanding amounts of 2014 to be eligible to enrol into the 2015 scheme.AUSPS also raised with MGT that had the 2014 deductions been done properly by the Finance Department, QBE would have continued with the monthly deductions for the family cover. However, since USP had outstanding balances with QBE, all staff in 2015 had to pay upfront for their family cover.
MGT has agreed to look into all such concerns and work towards improving the 2014 scheme.
6. Excess 2% FNPF contribution by USP
AUSPS EC argued that the excess FNPF contribution by USP compared to other tertiary institutions in the past has always given USP an advantage to recruit and also retain quality staff. AUSPS proposes that the USP considers continuing with past practice with an additional contribution of 2% in the next triennium. MGT had agreed to negotiate the above for the next triennium.