No workers' voice in workforce planning

Posted By TEU on Apr 30, 2009 |

Tertiary Update Volume 12 Number 13

News that the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has funded an NZVCC project on academic workforce planning that does not involve the union representing those academics is concerning according to TEU deputy secretary, Nanette Cormack.

The NZVCC submitted a project for TEC Priorities for Focus Funding called ‘Academic Workforce Plan Toward 2020’.  The project was approved by the TEC Board as submitted and funding for 12 months has been approved.

According to the funding application the project steering group proposed that a formal collaborative approach to strategic workforce planning be undertaken.

The project’s four objectives are to identify and quantify the size and broad mix of academic staff needed to resource New Zealand’s university sector to the year 2020; to predict and quantify significant academic staffing supply shortfalls and surpluses to 2020; to develop realistic and sustainable strategies for meeting future academic staffing requirements; and to incorporate bridging strategies into a high-level implementation plan that defines key accountabilities, milestones and deliverables.

The project intends to lay the foundation for ongoing work regarding workforce planning in the university sector. The project is being led through the Victoria University of Wellington.

“This is the sort of project that the already established tripartite process, involving the government, the vice-chancellors, unions and people who work in universities should taking on.  I’d suggest the NZVCC needs to consider very carefully how it undertakes this research, to ensure those working people will have the opportunity to contribute before it proceeds further,” Ms Cormack said.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. MIT lecturers at work until 9.30pm
  2. ‘We don’t want unbridled growth’ says Minister
  3. University research fails to keep up with GDP
  4. Overcrowded Weltec students want space
  5. Faster courses for masters students
  6. Teaching-only casuals cause consternation
  7. UK university staff prepare to fight job losses

TEU Tertiary Update is published weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the Tertiary Education Union and others. You can subscribe or read back issues on the TEU website. Direct inquiries should be made to Stephen Day, email:

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