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SSR Project Update - Issue 17

This week's project update includes FAQ's, an invitation to a forum about shared services, a reminder about information on the new job description web page, an update on AskOtago, and information on the support and training options available.

Please continue to send through any questions or comments for this newsletter or the website using the ‘Have your say’ form. 

In response to your questions

The following are answers to questions staff have been asking about the Management of Change process, which may help to address some common queries. Don't forget, if you have any questions, you can talk to your Divisional HR Manager or HR Adviser.

Q. How does salary preservation work?

A. If you are redeployed to a role at a lower level you will receive an allowance for two years to make up the difference to your current salary. If your redeployment takes effect after 1 July 2018 you would also receive any increase negotiated this year, applied from 1 July 2018.

The allowance would then abate with any across the board increases applied in subsequent years – most likely 1 July 2019 and 1 July 2020. So in practice your salary will go up but the allowance would decrease by the same amount for two years. At the end of two years the allowance stops and your salary remains at the top of the level with any across the board increases being applied thereafter.

There are more frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the SSR website - FAQs

Job descriptions

We have created a new page on the SSR website where we will be listing job descriptions for the roles that have been developed as part of the SSR process. The first of these are available now and we will continue to update this page as the job descriptions are confirmed.

Forum for Shared Services staff

Shared Services Director David Tapp has organised a forum for staff on Monday June 18, the first specifically for staff who will be working in the Shared Services team – as he outlines below. Shared services staff can expect to receive more communication directly from David as the Shared Services Division becomes operational over the coming months.

Next Monday I will be hosting a forum primarily for staff who will be joining me as part of the shared services team. The session will provide the opportunity to meet the people behind the structure chart and to get a feel for what it will be like to be part of the shared services environment

This will be the first of many regular sessions for shared services staff and will provide more information and context about the direction for shared services as well as my aspirations for what shared services will look like five years from now.

Please note this forum is not about the Support Services Review or the management of change process. If you have questions about these items you should discuss them with your manager, your Divisional HR Manager, or make a submission to the SSR team via

Staff on the Dunedin campus are invited to attend the forum at 1.00pm next Monday afternoon in the Dunedin College of Education Auditorium. The forum will be recorded and I will advise you when this is available for staff to view.

I will be presenting a similar forum to staff in Christchurch and Wellington in the near future and once details are finalised I will communicate this to staff in the northern campuses.

Implementing employment changes in the HR system

As we progress through the implementation of the SSR, many staff members have been notified of changes to their employment, for example changes in reporting lines, division or salary.

Due to the high volume of changes to be implemented currently and the complex nature of the HR and Payroll systems, changes as stated in letters to staff members may not be formally changed in the HR system by the effective date specified in the letter. Changes to salary will be prioritised and actioned first, and any changes to reporting lines, divisions or job titles will be done at a later stage.

With regard to leave bookings, we ask that staff continue to work with their previous managers in consultation with their new managers to negotiate and approve leave. We appreciate your patience during this transition period.


AskOtago is a multi-channel service which will become Otago’s in-person and online information source for all staff, students and members of the public; effectively the shop-front of the University.

We are working towards launching this new service in the first half of semester 2. There will be the physical hub in the Link and the contact centre in St David 2 where staff will provide phone and online chat services and manage the web-based knowledgebase.

We're pleased that recruitment of AskOtago staff is nearly complete, and training is well underway. The team appreciated hosting the Vice-Chancellor recently during the training process.

We are now testing a new telephony system which will be implemented before AskOtago goes live.

We will continue visiting departments to confirm what queries and activities AskOtago staff will undertake and what the hand-over points to departments are.

Please keep your feedback and suggestions for new FAQs for the AskOtago knowledgebase coming by emailing

Training and Support

Training and support courses for Dunedin staff continue to be offered over June. Details are online – please register your interest if you plan to attend. Further courses will be provided to meet demand.

We invite staff in Christchurch and Wellington to contact us if you wish to receive further support which will be arranged 1:1 or for groups when appropriate.

Career development advice is available from Career Development Adviser Jo Budai - contact her via for 1:1 confidential and impartial support to assist with career choices.

CV preparation workshops

To assist staff in preparing CVs and cover letters to help present your skills, knowledge and experience effectively to prospective managers and employers

Interview Skills Workshops

To help prepare your responses to questions during interviews and how to present your best self.

Deciding My Future: making good job choices

Focuses on what is important to consider when making choices about future job and career options.

A workbook will be provided to you when you register so attendees can complete required pre-work.

Prosci® Fundamentals of Change Management

For project leaders and those with managerial responsibilities. It covers change management, including understanding and applying the Prosci* ADKAR Model for individual change.

EAP - staff support

We remind staff that you can access personal support through the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). A new feature is that EAP now offers financial and budgeting advice, as well as other counselling services.

EAP services are available to staff at any time through the existing provider, Stratos Ltd. EAP services are confidential to you and based on a self-referral system. There is no requirement to advise or make a request to your manager. Further information can be found in the EAP section of the HR website.

Recent Appointments

  • Head of Student Experience - Nick Bates (effective 5 July 2018)
  • Senior Manager Finance Services - Philip McLennan (effective 18 June 2018)
  • Group Leader AskOtago - Natasha Teokotai (effective 21 May)
  • Manager Client Services (External Engagement and Research & Enterprise) - Susan Steer (effective date 11 June 2018)
  • Manager Client Services (FSD, HR & Academic Division) - Marie-Louise Neilsen (effective date 9 July 2018)
  • Manager Client Services (Operations except CaCLS) - Amber Faris (effective date 18 June 2018)
  • Manager Client Services (CaCLS) - Stewart Hibbert (effective date 18 June 2018)



  • Group Leader Student Development
  • Manager Supply Chain
  • Knowledgebase Administrator AskOtago
  • Team Leader AV Support
  • Manager Client Services
  • Lead Administrator Client Services (Clinical)
  • Lead Administrator Client Services



  • Team Leader Research Administration

Staff need to log in to view internal job vacancies. Additional positions may be advertised during this time. For a full list of vacancies please be sure to check the Current Vacancies section of the HR website.

We welcome your feedback on the project implementation as it progresses. Contact us to discuss, or let us know if you need more information at

From the Support Services Review Project Team