TEU ready to oppose massive MIT redundancies

Posted By TEU on Oct 16, 2014 | 2 comments


Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 35

Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) staff in the faculties of engineering and trades, and education and social sciences found out this week that they face a massive restructuring.

MIT is proposing 68 full-time-equivalent job losses in the two faculties.

While the polytechnic is also proposing 18 proposed new positions, and union organisers are working to ensure existing staff can redeploy into those new positions, the impact on staff and students will still be devastating.

TEU national secretary Sharn Riggs says those impacts include halving the staff in early childhood education, English, and foundation studies, as well as losses in sport, social services, manufacturing, automotive, construction, engineering, and in administration positions across both faculties.

“We know that TEU members around the country will support members directly affected by these proposals.”

TEU will, as always, be providing advocacy and support to minimise wherever possible the huge effects of these reviews,” said Riggs.

MIT’s chief executive Peter Brothers referred to the restructuring as being part of ‘refreshing our product line’, and he blamed the job losses on an improving economy.

“When the economy improves a lot of the people we serve move into the workforce. We have known this for many years and we are now going through a down cycle as the economy picks up.”

However, Riggs said the reasons were far more complex. TEU members were victim to the combination of government funding cuts, an enormous deficit resulting from MIT’s new campus, and internal management choices. The reality of the cuts was that there would be fewer lecturers and classes for students.

MIT has already been through numerous large restructures in recent years and Riggs says that the strategy of continuous cuts is clearly not working to attract new students or enable the polytechnic to meet its community responsibilities to local employers.

“Local employers, local businesses and local families do not want fewer teachers and fewer opportunities for Manukau’s people,” said Riggs.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. UCOL members launch blueprint for polytechnics
  2. Louise Tu’u: a new face supporting Pacific students
  3. Selina Marsh: speaking up to end Pasifika isolation
  4. Unions prevent workplace injuries

Other news

Prominent and much-loved New Zealand art curator, academic, and historian Professor Jonathan Mane-Wheoki has died – Fairfax

A restructure is under way across all Te Wananga o Aotearoa campuses and staff should know by Christmas what the changes will mean for them – Manawatu Standard

A wave of union organising is sweeping academics on fixed term and insecure employment agreements in the United States. Currently campaigns are underway in at least 24 states – Labor Notes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called for more academic freedom in Iran’s universities, saying restrictions stifle innovation and breed sycophancy – ABC

Auckland University is taking a new approach, to trying to restore its place on international research rankings. Staff are being asked to “increase their impact” and make the public more aware of their research – Yahoo News

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