Dr Sandra Grey, TEU’s current women’s vice-president, will take up the role of TEU national president te tumu whakarae next year after she was elected unopposed earlier this week.
Dr Grey is a senior lecturer at Victoria University’s School of Social and Cultural Studies, where she teaches social policy and researches ways in which citizens can bring about social and political change.
Dr Grey entered tertiary education as at Auckland University after a career as a radio journalist, hoping that her studies would allow her to move into writing feature articles. However, after a masters, and then a PhD scholarship to the Australian National University, she took up a job at Victoria University.
Dr Grey says that one of the issues that drove her to stand for the TEU presidency is the funding cuts and ever-growing pressure to produce more that is being foisted on tertiary education employees.
“It’s increasingly hard to resist the economic arguments that say tertiary education is all about economic widgets and how they can contribute best to the economy. However, I was one of those open entry students, a second chance learner that might have missed out on a place under today’s restrictions. It incenses me that others might not get the chance that I had.”
Dr Grey is best known outside the TEU as the national spokesperson on the Campaign for MMP. She says unions are very conscious of democracy and democratic rights – and that debate extends beyond just unions and workplaces to our whole community.
“We get poor legislation if we don’t have a diverse group of people making laws. MMP delivers the diversity that I think is crucial to democracy.”