Today is likely to be the third and last reading of the Act Party’s voluntary student membership bill and thus it is also Parliament’s last chance to come up with a more moderate proposal.
“If Act does not like compulsory students’ associations that is fine,” said TEU national president Sandra Grey. “And it is welcome to have that political battle with the associations themselves. However, this bill goes way beyond that. It threatens to undermine crucial student support and pastoral care, increase staff workloads, put financial pressure on tertiary institutions and undermine the culture and vibrancy of many campuses.”
“Staff, like most other people at tertiary institutions, don’t want this legislation,” said Dr Grey. “They know if students’ associations can no longer organise and fund their own support networks, advocacy and sporting and cultural events, then those things either will not happen, or staff will be asked to do them instead on already restricted budgets. The result will be lower quality student services, staff with higher workloads and universities and polytechnics with less money to spend on their core jobs of education and research.”
For more information:
Dr Sandra Grey, TEU national president, 021 844 176 or 04 801 5098
Stephen Day, TEU communications officer, 021 2900 734 or 04 801 4792