|Universal College of Learning...yeah right.|
Paul McElroy is the UCOL CEO…and like all CEO’s he gets paid heaps. He is a charming fellow; he even comes to work without a tie, to prove how close he is to his staff…In fact Mr. Paul McElroy just utterly adores the staff.So long as they do what he says rather than what he does.
The only problem is he won’t reward them for what they do. He thinks that they should be proud that he even allows them to be employed by his organisation and should show more gratitude by working for what ever he and his boss Steven Joyce decides to pay them. Yes his boss is Steven Joyce of Sky City Casino deal fame …the man who has paid out more in cooperate benefits than any other minister in our history…and he was put in charge of New Zealand’s Tertiary Education to get the wages down, income from students up.
Our CEO at UCOL saw the light and decided sometime back to lower his massive salary of around or nearing three hundred and eighty thousand dollars, at that time he was the highest paid Polytechnic CEO in the country…his effort would help balance the books and would help the Government have more money available to put into private schools and Charter Schools, and they may make him a special expert educator [which he isn't] and pay a sixty thousand dollar bonus for visiting other less well performing polytechnics. .
But something went wrong, when he cut his hours by 50% and decided to work half-time, one would assume that his salary would drop by 50%...but it didn’t, in fact it’s now stands at over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars which must make him really struggle to pay the power-bill and fill the car with petrol. It is also a clear indicator that mathematics is not a specialty subject at UCOL, well amongst the management team.
|The public outside understood but the CEO didn't.|
Well on Thursday [30th January 2014] morning here in Palmerston North, Whanganui, and Masterton around two hundred and twenty staff held a protest outside of each campus controlled by UCOL.
At this time of the year it has been normal for UCOL to bus in representatives from both Whanganui and Masterton for a big happy welcome by Mr. McElroy. But that was cancelled this year, why because UCOL's tactical team decided that they wanted a more personal touch…if you believe that then you believe in the tooth fairy…in fact the event was planned and was only cancelled by email at the weekend…why because those planning the protest informed UCOL of what they intend to do. That was really very polite of them and they stuck to the agreement that those protesting would not upset those who wished to attend the ‘munch up’ inside.
|While the CEO eats cake others protest.|
So while the CEO and his close supporters ate their sausage rolls, cakes and other goodies paid for by student fees, wage freezes, etc a large group of staff stood outside and waved their hand made banners and protested. It was a bit like France before the revolution, remember the queen who said 'Let them eat cake' she just a short time later parted company with her head.
Those driving passed hooted their car horns and waved their wholehearted support for those brave enough to make a stand for proper wage increases and fair treatment…
It was very moving and a tribute to those protesting that they left those inside to eat up large and pretend that all is well, while the actually reality is that some staff are struggling to make ends meet.
Unlike the CEO they can’t stay home and weed the garden while increasing their salaries…and I’ve no doubt that the cleaners employed or contracted to UCOL don’t receive a livable wage…I for one would welcome with open arms a CEO that has a visible moral streak and a willingness to pay a living wage. It is the outright failure of organisations like UCOL, Massey and the City Council that gives our city a bad name.
The National Party believe that by paying those at very top stupidly high salaries you get better students is simply wrong and promotes little more than greed…but hey greed is a quality these days not one of the seven deadly sins.