Women from across the union movement have taken a collective stand against a change in law that could see vast sums of public money being transferred away from public tertiary institutions to private providers.
In a remit passed at the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions women’s conference, union activists said National’s proposed law would “impact negatively on women and women’s access to tertiary education.”
Union women were adding their voices to the thousands of others that have already told Tertiary Education Minister, Paul Goldsmith they reject the changes and instead want a tertiary education sector that is public, local and focused on teaching and learning.
“Women across the union movement are fervently opposed to their tax dollars being used to support for-profit education companies rather than public and community tertiary institutions,” Suzanne McNabb, the TEU’s national women’s officer, said.
A committee of MPs is currently scrutinising National’s planned law change after it passed the first reading in May. MPs have held three public evidence sessions so far, with only two more planned once Parliament returns next week from a fortnight’s recess.
The law would make sweeping changes to the way tertiary education is funded, handing Ministers greater powers to divert public funds away from public tertiary education providers and hand them to private companies instead.
Delegates at the CTU conference expressed concern that the law would reduce access to tertiary education for future generations of women.