Unitec cannot continue to justify cutting its staff’s working conditions now that it has announced a massive $8 million surplus.
That is Tertiary Education Union national industrial officer Irena Brorens’ response to Unitec’s surplus announcement on the eve of a legal facilitation that will attempt to resolve a 13 month long employment negotiation between Unitec, five other polytechnics and 800 members of TEU.
“Unitec cannot continue to justify their efforts to reduce terms and conditions to staff, when staff have demonstrated that they are both highly productive and economically efficient.”
“If Dr Ede really wants to use Unitec’s $8.24 million surplus to build capabilities he needs to talk to his own staff who delivered the surplus to him at the same time as successfully educating over 23,000 students. They can help to continue to deliver international quality education if they are given the right support,” said Ms Brorens.
Union members at the six polytechnics, NorthTec, Whitireia, Wintec, WITT, Unitec and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, have been taking industrial action at different times since September last year to protect their working conditions. Last year they offered to accept zero percent pay increases at four of the polytechnics in return for retaining their existing employment conditions. However the employers have remained adamant throughout the dispute that they wish to increase teaching hours and limit leave provisions for their staff.