Manukau teachers vote on workload strike

Posted By TEU on Apr 9, 2009 |

Tertiary Update Volume 12 Number 10

TEU members at the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) are voting on whether to take industrial action in a ballot which closes today. It comes after being presented with an offer they say includes major claw-backs to current conditions and fails to address their growing workload.

According to TEU branch president at MIT, Lesley Francey, the key issue for MIT workers is workload.

“Cuts last year to general and admin staff numbers saw many administrative tasks reallocated to academics. Increasing numbers of students creating larger workloads is the straw that is breaking the camel’s back,” said Ms Francey.

Currently, the MIT collective agreement allows for teaching staff to teach a maximum of 835 contact hours a year. Staff are becoming increasingly concerned that this number is becoming a target rather than maximum.  They are seeking to limit timetabled teaching hours to a maximum of 20 hours a week and to introduce workload bands that would see those staff teaching at higher levels, with large numbers of students, or with more out-of-class assessment, teaching fewer contact hours per week.

In response, the employer has offered a 3.2 percent pay increase over 22 months, broken up into two smaller increases, and the introduction of a clause that would enable MIT and individual members to negotiate flexible arrangements as variations to the collective agreement. TEU members believe this clause could have a detrimental effect on working conditions, especially on hours of work for new employees and employees in particular areas of teaching such as nursing. MIT is threatening to withdraw this offer from the negotiating table if it is not accepted today.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Ryan challenges rush over Youth Guarantee
  2. Students with disabilities lose out from student restrictions
  3. Chopper ride has TEC in a spin
  4. Sciences lecturers face redundancy at Massey
  5. Value of Lincoln-AgResearch merger questioned
  6. Polytechnics to sell education to Saudi women
  7. University of Zimbabwe closed – again
  8. Tasmanian casual academics seek better deal
  9. Economics dean quits over sackings

TEU Tertiary Update is published weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the Tertiary Education Union and others. Back issues are available on the TEU website. Direct inquiries should be made to Stephen Day, email:

Thanks to A.K. Photography @ Flickr for the photo
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