Three week strike now affecting student marks

Posted By TEU on Nov 26, 2009 |

Tertiary Update, Volume 12 Number 41

It has now been over three weeks since union members at the six North Island polytechnics covered by the ITP MECA resumed industrial action, and a resolution still does not seem imminent. Lecturers and tutors at NorthTec, Unitec, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Waikato Institute of Technology, Whitireia Polytechnic, and Western Institute of Technology are protesting especially at employers’ attempts to negotiate significant cuts to existing employment work conditions.

These include the ability to potentially make the use of the four weeks discretionary leave at the employers’ discretion and increasing the number of annual teaching days from 185 to 204. TEU members at the six polytechnics also are opposed to the pay offer of 2 percent pay over 18 months, with no backdating. (The current agreement expired eight months ago.)

As part of their ongoing industrial action, also, union members at three of the polytechnics – Unitec, Whitireia, and WINTEC – have voted to withhold student marks and not participate in any processing of marks.

“The last thing lecturers want to do is to undermine their students’ learning,” said TEU national industrial officer Irena Brorens. “And they certainly don’t want to withhold assessment marks, but the employers have left them with little choice.”  This action has been taken by our members to impress upon the employers their commitment to rejecting these proposed cuts in conditions.”

TEU negotiators are eager to return either to negotiations or mediation as quickly as possible, if it will progress the dispute.

Also in Tertiary Update this week

  1. Massey leads way with pay and equity review
  2. TEC hands out performance bonuses to polytechnics
  3. Story time with the minister
  4. Academics and students lose right to voice on ITP councils
  5. Melbourne University staff vote to withhold marks
  6. Two unions become one in South Africa

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:

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