TEU members at Weltec are currently voting on whether to begin industrial action because their employer is trying to increase their duty hours from between 34 and 36 hours a week (which are core conditions across the sector), to 37.5 hours a week.
Weltec’s proposal claim for increased duty hours, in exchange for a 1.5 percent pay rise, would result in up to 55 extra hours of work a year for staff members.
Weltec wants claiming an increase the duty hours in order to boost productivity. However, Weltec already has one of the highest student-staff ratios in the country; 24 students for each academic staff member.
TEU organiser Phil Dyhrberg said the union has been willing to discuss so-called productivity improvements, including possible changes to duty hours and timetabled teaching hours, but members have already formally rejected the employer’s arbitrary increase of duty hours.
The ballot on industrial action will close at 4pm today.
“I think it is regrettable, given members’ willingness to negotiate on these matters, that Weltec is insisting on attacking core conditions. TEU members are already angry about the manner in whichtrade tutors were recently laid off at the polytechnic,” said Mr Dyhrberg.