Tertiary Update Volume 12 Number 23
Over sixty reviews have taken place or been initiated in tertiary education institutions so far this year, affecting hundreds of jobs and resulting in dozens of redundancies.
That is the message TEU officials will be advising other unions at hui being held around the country over the next few weeks to develop a union-wide approach to redundancy.
While some of those redundancies have been compulsory, where redundant workers have had their jobs defined out of existence and no redeployment offered them, a significant number of job losses also have come about through voluntary redundancies, enhanced retirement packages, non-replacement of staff, and an increase in temporary and limited-term positions.
TEU president Tom Ryan says that tertiary education institutions often have no genuine grounds for undertaking such reviews:
“With the most recent cohort of baby-boomers now entering into tertiary education, and with many new students taking up study in response to the economic recession, we should be looking at ways of getting staff to help those students get an education. At the very least, redeployments and other workforce reorganisations might be justifiable.”
“Most people working in the tertiary education sector would identify current heavy workloads as the biggest barrier they face to providing high quality education. So it is bizarre that tertiary institutions are scratching around to find ways of cutting staffing levels, and thus increasing workloads for those remaining.” Managerial irrationality is too often the order of the day.”
Dr Ryan says that these ongoing reviews form the background to the negotiation claim by union members at universities for an end to compulsory redundancies.
“Our impression is that people are accepting voluntary redundancies or early retirements because they know compulsory redundancy is often the only other likely option.” We need to restore a sense of real choice to the process; otherwise good people will continue to lose their jobs without good reason,” concludes Dr Ryan.
Also in Tertiary Update this week:
- Selene Mize wins supreme teaching award
- MIT votes on settlement
- UCOL may close arts and design
- SSC hinders negotiations
- Parents lose allowance to study
- Canterbury to fine research inactive colleges
TEU Tertiary Update is published weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the Tertiary Education Union and others. You can subscribe to Tertiary Update by email or feed reader. Back issues are available on the TEU website. Direct inquiries should be made to Stephen Day, email: http://scr.im/stephenday