Incoming TEU President Ryan calls for end to redundancies

Posted By TEU on Mar 12, 2009 |

Tertiary Update Volume 12, Number 6

Newly elected TEU national president, Dr Tom Ryan, says it is time for the CEOs and vice-chancellors of the country’s tertiary-education institutions to join up the dots and take action if they are going to step up to the challenge New Zealanders have laid down for them to combat the country’s economic crisis.

Dr Ryan was elected yesterday by TEU members and takes up the new position on 1 April. The other candidate was current national co-president, Tangi Tipene of Waiāriki Polytechnic.

“Too many institutions are working in last year’s economic climate with last year’s enrolment figures,” said Dr Ryan. “We need to deal with the fact that student enrolments are up all over the country, but that funding is capped for institutions enrolling students above the cap. While the country is calling out for tertiary education and skills training, we have institutions still engaged in last year’s restructuring plans, job lay-offs, and redundancies. It doesn’t make sense any more.”

Dr Ryan added that New Zealand’s tertiary-education workers have the capacity and the skills to help educate and train the thousands who need a new chance in our fragile economy. “But, for that to happen, institutions need to make staff workloads and student education their focus, not overseas business ventures and flashy business diversifications.”

Dr Ryan is a senior lecturer in anthropology and labour studies at the University of Waikato. He says it is fantastic to be leading a strong, united union in its inaugural year. He has been a union leader since the 1970s, when he held elected offices in Australian mining unions. More recently, Dr Ryan has been president of the Lecturers’ Association at the University of Auckland, a member of the council and academic board at Waikato, and academic vice-president of the Association of University Staff.

In other contested elections for leadership positions within the newly formed Tertiary Education Union, Michael O’Connell of UCOL was elected ahead of Peter McLuskie of the Open Polytechnic as institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITP) academic vice-president. Glennis Birks of Waikato Institute of Technology, Richard Draper of Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Lesley Francey of Manukau Institute of Technology, Sarah Hardman of Unitec, Eric Stone of NorthTec and Peter McLuskie of the Open Polytechnic were elected as the six academic representatives to the ITP sector group.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. High hopes for Lincoln-AgResearch merger
  2. Massey leads pay-equity way for universities
  3. New students challenging government EFTS-funding caps
  4. Tighter belt no excuse for more workload, says TEU
  5. 9-day fortnight a reality but day 10 missing cash and training
  6. Gillard gives speeches but not yet dollars
  7. South Africa to split education ministry
  8. Irish unionist wins academic freedom in court
  9. Liverpool University will probably axe probability department

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Thanks to Pensiero at Flickr for the photo

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