ITP staff to vote on action over leave and workload

Posted By TEU on Aug 13, 2009 |

Tertiary Update Volume 12 Number 26

Negotiations between employers and TEU members at the six institutes of technology and polytechnics covered by the ITP multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) have adjourned ” after the employers tabled an offer that proposes making all discretionary leave at the employers’ discretion and increasing the number of teaching days for academic staff. Union members will now meet in the next two weeks to vote on whether or not to take industrial action.

Union members and employers at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, NorthTec, UNITEC, Whitireia, WINTEC and WITT have been negotiating unsuccessfully now for several months.”  The employers requested the deferral of an earlier round of stopwork meetings and industrial action ballots so that they could “table a comprehensive offer for you to consider to settle the MECA” on 6 August”.

The tabled offer that day did not address any of the claims TEU took in to negotiations, other than the technical correction of changing the union’s name from ASTE to TEU. Instead it contained proposals to make significant cuts to existing employment workload conditions including making all discretionary leave at the employers’ discretion and increasing the number of teaching days from 185 to 204.

It also included a one percent salary increase with no back-dating and a 24 month term from the date of signing (in effect a term of at least 30 months) and a working party during the term of the agreement to identify ways to improve productivity through more flexible hours of work.

TEU national industrial officer Irena Brorens says that the proposal to increase teaching hours and up-end discretionary leave is a major concern for members across all ITPs.

“Academics at these six polytechnics are highly regarded but they cannot continue to provide the same level of teaching and learning when they are being asked to sacrifice the time they spend preparing, marking, assessing and researching so that they can teach longer and longer hours”.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. TEC confused over Māori and pacific students
  2. Spies breach academic freedom
  3. Tolley looks to market to drive tertiary education
  4. Staff seats on ITP councils threatened
  5. Otago Uni threatens redundancies
  6. Govt cuts to adult literacy
  7. Job cuts at Melbourne University induce strikes

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

Thanks to Dukal @ Flickr for the image

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