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July 23, 2018 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Severance & Dissatisfaction at Vic Books

Migrant worker Paul Nelson, former Marketing Manager at Vic Books, may be forced to leave New Zealand after his severance from the Vic Books.
Nelson had been an employee of Vic Books since January 2017, and the marketing manager since January 2018. He was recently made redundant, and “the duties of the position were to be diluted amongst the remaining staff.”
Nelson said that these remaining staff have “already been put under tremendous pressure to drive sales and productivity without sufficient support.”
Vic Books Manager, Juliet Blyth, stated that the redundancy was a result of structural changes at the business, explaining that declines in textbook sales had resulted in a need to make “savings and reductions whenever possible”.
Despite being “student owned” through VUWSA, there is no student management and employees have outlined dissatisfaction with the current management of Vic Books.

Another former employee, and a current owner of another café, noted that at Vic Books, “the pressure is put on the manager to make money, not to run a sustainable café.”
According to Nelson, Vic Books’ Board of Directors has had increasing involvement with the business over the past year, with a goal of putting the business back into financial stability and generating greater return on investment.
He believes the increased involvement by the board of directors has instigated a series of damaging and unpopular changes – such as the change of milk and coffee suppliers. Nelson has said he hasn’t felt heard, with his opinions being met with “hostile deafness” by the management and the board.
Another former employee, who has recently left the cafe, said “I think management at Vic Books is unsatisfactory on a lot of levels currently…there’s a severe lack of support and professionalism, and it is starting to drive lot of people away.”

Blythe said “If staff have specific concerns I really do encourage them to speak with me directly, my door is always open.”


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