1. Better pay
Averaged over the last 15 years, no matter which tertiary institution you work at TEU has achieved pay rises significantly better than inflation. That means, in real dollar terms all TEU members are better off. Research shows that staff in unionised workplaces earn more than those in non-unionised workplaces. The more people who join, the stronger the union, and therefore the better off everybody is.
2. Fairer pay systems
Most TEU members now get regular automatic pay rises based on experience and ability, rather than being made to compete with each other for performance pay bonuses handed out at the discretion of their manager.
3. More holidays and leave
Unions campaigned successfully in 2007 to get all workers in New Zealand a fourth week’s annual leave. But most TEU members do better than that with five weeks annual leave as well as the right to study leave or discretionary leave.
4. Access to financial benefits
TEU membership also gives member-only discounts on Health Care Plus and a wide range of member Advantage discounts around New Zealand and Australia.
5. Training and professional development
TEU collective agreements making sure our members have access and funding to on-going training and professional development. We make sure our members have the chance to progress your careers in the direction you choose.
6. Reduce workload
Many TEU collective agreements have workload restrictions such as timetabled teaching hours, and health and safety requirements that protect members from overly stressful workloads and ensure members can spend more time with their friends and family.
7. Protect public education
TEU is one of the only large organisations specifically committed to lobbying and campaigning for a well-funded, well-resourced public tertiary education system. We meet regularly with ministers and political parties as well as the ministry, the tertiary education commission and other major tertiary education stakeholders.
TEU is the only organisation that represents people in all sectors of tertiary education – universities, polytechnics, wānanga private training institutions, REAPs and OTEPS. We are also a democratic organisation that lets members vote on issues that affect them. We will not change your working conditions or pay without you voting on it first.
9. Professional and comprehensive
The average individual collective agreement that individual workers negotiate is a couple of pages long. The average TEU collective employment agreement is about 50 pages long and comprehensively covers terms of appointment, salaries, progression, hours of work, meal breaks, leave provision, training and professional development, allowances expenses and grants, health and safety, organisational change and redundancy, union rights and employment relationship problem-solving processes. More importantly our agreements are supported by professional experienced staff who advocate your rights on your behalf.
Top recent achievements
1. Salaries above inflation for last 15 years
Year-in-year-out TEU succeeds at negotiating pay rises better than inflation.
If you were to take the lowest pay increase that TEU negotiated for each of the last 15 years, the increase in pay would be four percent more than inflation. If you were to take the highest pay increase that TEU negotiated for each of those 15 years the increase in pay would be 38 percent more than inflation. No matter where you worked if you were with TEU you are better off than you would have been, even after adjusting for inflation.
2. We win court cases, but only when we need to
TEU offers hundreds of members confidential professional advice on their workplace rights. We settle most disputes quickly and quietly. But if we need to we have the best legal representation that has recently won a number of landmark employment law cases.
3. No 90-day rules
When the government introduced its “no employment rights for 90 days” laws last year TEU successfully prevented those laws being implemented at a large number of tertiary institution campuses, including Massey University and Victoria University.
4. Preventing many redundancies during reviews
TEU lobbies and advocates at every review, restructure or change process that involves our members. We regularly save jobs from being cut during reviews and restructures, including recently at Waikato University and Canterbury University. We also make sure people who do have to leave their job get a fair deal. All our collective agreements protect and ensure workers receive redundancy payments and fair change management processes.
5. Pay equity reviews
TEU pay and employment equity reviews at many tertiary institutions are working to bring women’s pay and employment conditions into line with those of men. Many TEU members are women and equitable pay and employment conditions means better jobs for all tertiary education workers – men and women.
Tertiary education is part of our public/social infrastructure. It provides opportunities and education for all who are no longer in compulsory education. It also provides skills and education to support our economy and our communities. By investing in tertiary education we give our whole country opportunities, not just those who study. Tertiary education also provides opportunities for research development and critical thinking that contribute to our understanding of current issues and to finding solutions to future challenges.
Fairness at work
Fairness at work is about the basic rights we all have as workers to respect, safe employment conditions and the chance to spend time with friends and family. It is about workers working hard, but also knowing our work is respected, fairly paid, safe and family-friendly. In these tough times, it is about putting people in real jobs and, just as importantly, making sure we keep people in jobs. It’s about working together to build strong communities and workplaces where everyone has a fair chance to earn a living safely.
Parents, caregivers and their children should have the opportunity and the right to spend as much time together as possible during their first months and years together. Children need time to bond with those that care for them. Parental leave is a crucial working right but it is also an important tool for enlightened employers who want the economic benefits of retaining experienced workers, ensuring a place for families in their business and contributing to their communities. TEU campaigns for the rights of parents to choose to spend important bonding time with their new babies and children without sacrificing their jobs or careers.
Learn our way out of trouble
Investing in the future rather than cutting corners is the only way for New Zealand to survive the global financial crisis. It is crucial that our response as a country is to invest in learning and research to give New Zealand’s economy a chance to lift its way out of the threat of a long-term global economic crisis. Tertiary education has the capacity, if well-funded, to move people into new jobs and to move New Zealand’s economy in newly sustainable directions. We can choose, like other strong economies and communities, to learn our way out of troubles that were not our own making. But we need to overcome the current underfunding, and we need to do it now while we still have time.
Worklife balance and flexible work
Work-life balance is about workload but it also is about the type of work people do, our hours of work, leave entitlements, pay, workplace culture and individuals’ life, family and community participation. Work-life balance allows us to work hard for a fair day’s pay and still have time to spend with friends, family and our community. Workers are happier, healthier and contribute more when our job leaves room for all the other things in our life that help make us who we are. A core element of improving work-life balance is changing the entrenched values and culture of workplaces that drive people to work longer, but less productively.
Pay and Employment Equity
Women earned 88% of the average hourly earnings of men. The jobs women do are more likely, on average, to be valued less than the jobs done predominantly by men and women are less likely to be promoted. TEU is campaigning for all working women to have the same pay and employment opportunities as men.