General Staff Day and rally at Christchurch

Posted By TEU on Jun 10, 2010 |

Tertiary Update Vol 13 No 21

University of Canterbury union members made a noisy demonstration of solidarity for general staff facing redundancy according to the Christchurch Press.

TEU branch president Megan Clayton opened the rally with an address to a lecture theatre of 150 TEU members yesterday. She relayed the level of support from organisers, delegates, academic staff and branch committee members for general staff over the last several months, as they organised against the worst aspects of Project STAR and its effect on structures and staff.

Staff at the university have experienced nearly 100 redundancies to date and with further changes mooted new change proposals are seemingly churning off the production line. General staff have borne the brunt of the first wave of restructuring proposals.

National President Tom Ryan was also present to give his support to University of Canterbury general staff. Dr Ryan said universities have a legal responsibility to consult with their academic boards on any serious change proposal impacting on staff.

“Universities are, in fact, not businesses but have a specialised relationship with the community they are meant to serve,” Dr Ryan said.

After the meeting about 60 members marched to the steps of the main library opposite the registry to protest at the effects of Project Star. The proposed axing of 36 library jobs drew particular condemnation.

Union organiser Gaby Moore said members wanted to tell vice-chancellor Rod Carr to “leave the library alone”.

“We are here to show we value general staff and that we are working together to uphold the university community,” Ms Moore said.

All then adjourned to TEU House for a barbeque to celebrate the contribution of general staff to the effective running of universities.

See photos of General Staff Day 2010, from around the country, on the TEU website.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Lincoln reports more staff
  2. Mothers in part time work need more skills training support
  3. Otago vice chancellor resigns
  4. Education ministry gets poor rating
  5. Universities move to restrict student enrolments

Other news

Higher education in France is in the throes of its most profound restructuring in generations. The country’s 83 universities are being granted autonomy, severing the direct authority of the central government over how they run their affairs.The government has also pledged billions of euros in new financing for higher education and, through a program called Operation Campus, is pouring money into the creation of 10 regional supercampuses intended to serve as centers of excellence that will eventually rival American institutions like Harvard and MIT – The Chronicle of Higher Education

University of Canterbury geography lecturer Dr Deirdre Hart initially banned the use of wikipedia after it kept appearing in the references of her students’ work. But she has since come to the conclusion it is a useful starting point for research, and this year asked her students to produce their own Wikipedia article – New Zealand Herald.

Tough new immigration rules for foreign students are hitting Australia’s economy, with more than 125,000 fewer international students expected to come in the next 12 months, costing more than 31,000 jobs nationwide – The Age.

“The New Zealand Government’s decision to vote against the establishment of an international labour convention to establish fundamental rights for Domestic Workers at the International Labour Organisation exposes either a basic lack of respect for human decency or a misunderstanding of the plight of those that work in the domestic sector in many countries” – CTU president Helen Kelly.

European higher education staff and students’ unions have expressed agreement that higher education should move further towards the needs of the student. This is a key finding from the survey by the European Students’ Union (ESU) and the staff union  (EI).

Massey University Albany psychology lecturer Dianne Gardiner is supporting the Service and Food Workers’ Union call for “whānau leave” to give people time off work to care for dependants. She says the law does not reflect the realities of life, including looking after sick children and parents – Sunday Star Times

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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