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Sixty-five support services workers at the University of Otago have received hand-delivered letters today telling them their jobs will be disestablished and given the option to move into lower-level positions.
It is the biggest announcement yet in a university support services review which began in 2015 and will affect about 160 full-time equivalent positions.
University director of human resources Kevin Seales said 280 people received letters today letting them know whether or not their jobs would still exist once the review was complete, with 215 of them given the chance to move into similar roles.
"The vast majority of [the] further 65 staff would be offered a similar role at a lower level, but with existing positions disestablished," Mr Seales said said.
Today marked the beginning of a two week-consultation period with staff.
"Staff who accept redeployment to a role at a lower level will receive salary protection, i.e. retain their current remuneration for a period of two years," the university said in a statement.
Tertiary Education Union organiser Shaun Scott said it was an emotional time and the union had been on campus all day meeting with staff members.
"Some members have needed support."
There were still some staff in other areas of the university who were yet to receive their redundancy letters, with a second round of letters coming out on May 29 for staff in the School of Dentistry, and on the Wellington and Christchurch campuses.
Mr Scott said he was pleased the university was hand-delivering letters, and it would not have been appropriate to just put them in a pigeonhole.
About 160 full-time equivalent positions across the university's support services are being cut in total in the job review, with some people losing their jobs in the last few months.
The number of voluntary redundancies taken at the university has reached 118.
The university said in a statement there were a number of new positions to be advertised, which would begin in the middle of June.
"This will allow the feedback received from staff during the consultation period to be carefully considered by the university, and final decisions to be communicated to staff."
Academic staff offered support to people affected by the review via social media.