Tertiary Education Union
22 June 2011
The Court of Appeal ruled today that five polytechnics must bargain site-based collective agreements with their staff members who are union members. The five polytechnics – NorthTec, Unitec, Wintec, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Whitireia – had refused to bargain site-based agreements after union members voted in February that was the type of collective agreement they wanted, and not a multi-employer agreement as the employers wanted.
The five chief executives refused to bargain the form of agreement union members had voted for, with legal challenges first at the Employment Court and then the Court of Appeal.
TEU members, whose collective agreement expired in November 2010 and have not received a pay rise of any significance for over three years, are delighted that this latest legal victory means they can now begin negotiations.
TEU national secretary Sharn Riggs said the decision confirmed what TEU members had always believed – that they should not be made to negotiate a collective agreement in a form that they did not want.
“This means our members can finally get on with the important business of negotiating a collective agreement that gives them a fair pay rise and no loss of core working conditions.”
Over 500 TEU members have signed a petition in the last week calling on the employers at the five polytechnics to put aside the costly legal challenges and negotiate a collective employment agreement on their site.
For more information:
Sharn Riggs, TEU national secretary, 027 443 8768 or 04 801 5098
Stephen Day, TEU communications officer, 021 2900 734 or 04 801 4792