Warren wrote to Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas requesting that the policy be withdrawn because the union considered them an employment policy and violated the collective agreement. Union organization Heather Warren said the policy had been approved by the university`s management team but had not been consulted with staff. The university has recently implemented a new media commentary policy in which employees are allowed to “promote civic leadership” in business, but it is forbidden to publicly criticize the university. The higher education union considered the policy to be an employment issue on which staff were not consulted, but a management issue, and asked the university to withdraw it. Staff must indicate whether they can speak professionally or personally and not be associated with the university if it is in a personal capacity. “The guidelines were developed by the university`s communications team and, like any document that provides instructions on the use of media channels, they follow our usual decision-making processes.” “The university encourages staff to demonstrate citizenship through public debate and media commentary in their disciplines or specializations.” Massey`s spokeswoman said it was the only New Zealand university that did not have formal advice for staff in this area and that after looking at what other universities were doing, it was a “middle position” of respect for academic freedom while clarifying how staff work in public. The Act provides for some important changes to collective bargaining rules, which give employers more flexibility in the bargaining process. Among the changes to be made is the proposal to restructure or open a disciplinary procedure requiring employers to give affected workers access to all relevant information. In 2011, the labour tribunal`s decision in the case of “The Vice-Chancellor of Massey University/Wrigley” introduced a very broad interpretation of the relevant information as part of a restructuring. This includes anything that could affect the retention of a worker, even if it is confidential information about other workers. But a spokeswoman for Massey told Stuff that the policy would not be withdrawn. She stated that the policy was a management decision and not an employment issue that did not require staff consultation. She said the university supported academic freedom, including dering opinions, even if they were controversial or unpopular.
The university spokeswoman said several De Massey colleges had published discussion papers and the feedback process was underway. The Amendment Act watered down the impact of the Wrigley case on employers. The provisions of the law in good faith have been amended so that employers have the right to withhold confidential information, including information about other identifiable persons, if there is a good reason to withhold it. However, it is important that employers who follow redundancy, restructuring or disciplinary procedures continue to share with workers a large amount of information, including financial information, evaluation or opinion documents and communications on the decision.