Canterbury stopwork

Staff say they will defend UC for Cantabrians

Tertiary Update Vol 14 No 37

Hundreds of TEU members denounced the possibility of forced jobs cuts at Canterbury University this week and committed themselves to campaign to protect and promote education for local Canterbury people.

A large crowd of TEU members gathered at a stop-work meeting this week and passed a resolution that they “are here to educate and support the people of Canterbury and we commit to campaign and do all we can to protect our university and all its staff and students.” TEU members at the university are also currently voting on a further series of resolutions that say that any changes to the university should enhance the quality and range of courses offered to students, and that decisions about any changes be made in a truly democratic way that involves staff who are fully informed with sufficient information.

The university’s vice-chancellor, Dr Rod Carr, who told Radio New Zealand on Friday “there is no proposal [for job cuts] at the moment” sent an email to all staff calling for voluntary redundancies on Monday, just before staff attended their stop-work meeting.

On Friday Dr Carr said:

“What we don’t know, and we won’t know, is where there are rationalisations of courses within programmes – where we may be able to, instead of having twelve flavours, have eight flavours. We may require staff to teach four courses instead of three courses. But the impact on the actual programmes we offer will be quite modest.”

“These are staff who are very committed to their university and their city,” said TEU national president Sandra Grey. “They have stayed through a very difficult time and worked in extraordinary ways for their students and the city. The university and the government cannot cast them aside now. The university, its academic reputation and the city will all suffer if that is the path the university and the government take. There must be no forced job cuts as a result of the earthquake.”

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Massey proposes end to undergraduate teacher education
  2. TEU opposes Aoraki closures across South Island
  3. Government spinning wrong story from crises
  4. Academics disagree on Freedom Day

Other news

In the latest Auckland University staff magazine, UniNews, Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon said academics must back up any controversial statements with research to avoid damaging the university’s reputation - Sunday Star Times

Campaign to Keep MMP spokesperson Sandra Grey said that if a majority of voters opt to keep MMP at this year’s referendum, it would lock in an independent review by the Electoral Commission to hear from the public about improvements that can be made to our current system. “We know that aspects of MMP irk some people, who otherwise broadly support a voting system where everyone’s votes count equally, no matter where they live. It is important that not only supporters of MMP, but supporters of MMP with some tweaks, vote to keep MMP this November” – Campaign for MMP

A proposed operations budget for the Otago University Students’ Association has been slashed in the wake of a recent legislation change which introduced voluntary student membership (VSM) for 2012 – Otago Daily Times

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