Workers from New Zealand’s polytechnics and universities will be uniting together on Monday and Tuesday next week to form New Zealand’s newest large union. The Tertiary Education Union (TEU), an amalgamation of the Association of University Staff (AUS) and the Association of Staff in Tertiary Education (ASTE) will bring together over 11,000 academic and general staff members from both unions. The new union will campaign strongly in the coming months and years for a vibrant national public tertiary education sector.
“We will be a strong voice, not just for workers,” says ASTE President Tangi Tipene, “but also for our belief in the important role that public education plays in our communities and for the right of New Zealanders to have access to high quality, internationally regarded tertiary education and research.”
“Workers in polytechnics, wānanga and universities share common interests and face the challenges,” says AUS President Maureen Montgomery. “The TEU will bring together workers from across the entire tertiary sector. We will have a louder, more coherent and persuasive voice. That unity and shared purpose will be more important that ever in the years ahead.”
ASTE and AUS will hold their final conferences on Monday morning November 24 at the Brentwood Hotel in Kilbirnie, Wellington and Māori members will meet the day before this. TEU will then hold its inaugural conference on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 November at the same venue. Media are welcome to attend.