Breakthrough in CityU talks

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 March, 2007, 12:00am

There has been a breakthrough in the drawn-out negotiations between the staff and management of City University over the terms of employment of more than 100 lecturers.

Tse Wing-ling, head of the staff association, said it was likely that 112 staff members teaching at the university's community college, who had earlier been told they would be fired next year, would now stay on existing terms of employment.

Dr Tse said the group representing management and the governing council had indicated a willingness to accept the staff's request to continue to be employed by CityU on superannuation status, similar to tenure at other universities.

Association vice-chairman Fung Wai-wah said the group negotiating on behalf of the university, which consists of two council members and the head of the community college, was in the process of consulting the governing council.

'I'm optimistic,' Dr Fung said. 'We are nearly there.'

The issue is likely to be discussed during the council meeting on March 26.

There have been protests following rumours that some staff members, seconded during the 1990s from the university to the College of Higher Vocational Studies - now the Community College of City University - would lose their university superannuation status in 2008.

Teaching mainly business, languages and information technology, they had agreed to a pay cut after the college was renamed the Community College when it was privatised in 2004.

The university sent letters on February 23 announcing 112 teachers and administration staff with superannuation status would be fired in the 2008-09 year.

CityU had proposed three new options for the staff but all were rejected by staff representatives for having no plan to maintain their superannuation system with the university.

A university spokeswoman said the management found meetings with staff members 'very useful'.

Senior management knew more about the staff's views which they would 'actively consider', she said, adding the meetings facilitated a consensus between the management staff members.