Staff at Aoraki and CPIT have been waiting for weeks to know if the tertiary education minister will merge their two institutions into a single new Canterbury polytechnic.
The minister’s decision was due last month, but this week a spokesperson for the minister said he still had no date for an announcement about whether a proposed merger should go ahead, and that an announcement was not likely until mid-late November.
TEU national president Sandra Grey says this delay puts unacceptable stress on staff and students at the two polytechnics.
“People in Timaru, Oamaru, Ashburton and Christchurch are waiting to see if they have courses or jobs next year.”
“The business case for the merger proposes to disestablish Aoraki Polytechnic on 31 December – now less than two months away. And yet nobody knows if or when the minister will give his go ahead.”
Grey says the minister needs to make an announcement immediately, or give a clear timeline of how the merger can proceed in a way that staff and students can manage, and that does not create unnecessary stress and workload.
“People’s lives have been up in the air for months now. They deserve the respect of being told what is going on, when and how. And they deserve to know that they will have time to plan and prepare for next year so they can continue to give their students the best education.”