Negotiations begin at Otago Uni

Posted By TEU on Jul 12, 2012 |


Tertiary Update Vol 15 No 23

It has been a slow start to collective bargaining at New Zealand’s universities this year with only Victoria, Massey and, as of this morning, Otago beginning negotiations.

The union bargaining team at Otago will focus on solving the workload issues that members raised repeatedly in surveys and meeting over recent months.

TEU’s deputy secretary Nanette Cormack, who has been travelling the country coordinating much of the bargaining, says tight financial pressure from government funding cuts means most of the universities are acting cautiously, particularly around the issue of pay.

“We know times are tough but universities have continued to make good surpluses and what we are asking for is reasonable and modest. In addition to concern about erosion of salaries for most union members around the country the issue of workload and job security are increasingly pressing concerns.”

TEU’s Otago University organiser Shaun Scott says Otago staff face ever growing workloads as pressure for more research more students and more compliance reporting from government cuts into time.

“We want manageable workloads for the good of our students, and we also want workloads to be fair and manageable so we can spend time with friends, communities and family.”

Academic staff at Otago University are making a claim that workload should be allocated in an open, equitable, transparent and planned way. This must incorporate a system for allocating teaching workload that is negotiated collectively with staff and their Head of Department (or equivalent). In addition, there must be a transparent system that allows individual staff to compare their allocated teaching workload with the average and range in their department, and/or across the university, and provides for any inequities to be rectified.

“One of the first things TEU members will want to talk about today is a set of principles and processes for dealing with excessive workload in a way that is fair and equal for everyone,” said Shaun Scott.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Minister urges South Island ITP network
  2. Libraries worried trade agreement will make study harder
  3. $1m for Māori trades training at CPIT
  4. Timaru speaks up for tertiary education

Other news

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The University of Otago has approached the Government about its concerns that cutting allowance eligibility for postgraduate students could reduce its numbers. Figures show 564 students – 20 percent of the university’s New Zealand postgraduate students – would be affected by the change when it takes effect next year –Otago Daily Times

A complaint against Whakatāne-based Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi may be taken to the Serious Fraud Office. Last month Awanuiārangi was accused of breaking the law and deceiving its students by calling itself a university –New Zealand Herald

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Almost 300 Chinese nationals with fraudulent student visas are enrolled across 20 English language private training providers in Auckland, but there is no evidence the language schools knew of the fraud – New Zealand Herald

 

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