More than 20 jobs saved at Auckland faculty of education

Posted By TEU on Oct 23, 2014 |


Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 36

The union and TEU members at the University of Auckland have managed to reduce proposed compulsory job cuts at the faculty of education from 35 down to just two.

Local TEU organiser Enzo Giordani said feisty staff with a staunch union attitude helped save the jobs.

“Union members took the university on and made it completely rethink its timeframe. Once it had done that it rethought its attitude to the review too.”

Earlier this year the university announced it wanted to change its staffing profile in the faculty so that it had fewer lecturers and more associate professors who could supervise postgraduate students. The vice-chancellor had also directed the faculty to save nearly $5 million dollars.

The university selected and advised 35 staff that it intended to make redundant. However, it had not consulted first with TEU on the need for the change or the selection criteria for choosing those 35 people.

TEU’s legal advice convinced the university that this process was not fair, so the university withdrew all the individual letters it has sent to the 35 staff members. It also put out a new consultation document looking at the need for change and the criteria for selection.

The university took the opportunity to call for voluntary redundancies from the entire faculty and to offer lecturers the opportunity to switch from teaching and research roles to teaching-only roles.

With the savings from these measures, the university has now stated it only needs to make seven staff redundant or partially redundant compulsorily. TEU’s advocacy and submissions from the affected members has so far reduced that number down to two.

Enzo Giordani remains hopeful of making some further progress on this issue.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. MIT chaos following job cut announcement
  2. Employment law first act of new government
  3. Otago debates one off lump sum
  4. Auckland staff call for Living Wage

Other news

Radio NZ’s Wayne Brittenden takes up the issue of academic freedom, and then follows up with an interview with Canterbury University’s Professor Jack Heinemann –  Radio NZ  

Vice-chancellor Stuart McCutcheon, comfortably off on his $650,000-plus salary, has pushed through yet another annual 4 per cent student fee increase to help chase his dream of heading an elite ” public university of global standing”, to quote the university’s strategic plan – NZ Herald

AgResearch and Massey scientists say contestable funding is making recruitment of young deer scientists difficult – NZX Agri

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce, says students are paying a fair amount for their university fees. Universities were currently setting next year’s fees and the Union of Students Associations expects all eight will raise their fees by four percent – Radio NZ

Why Australia’s university funding debate wouldn’t make sense to Germans – The Conversation

If I could choose one government policy? I’d abolish tuition fees. Free education is not a crazy dream; some countries already have it. We should too, or we face a future where the study of literature or art becomes a luxury available to the rich alone – The Guardian

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