University of Auckland academics are stopping work tomorrow to decide how to respond to an offer from their employer that strips many of the core working conditions from their collective agreement and places them in policy documents where they can be changed or whittled away without debate or vote.
Many of the academics that Tertiary Update spoke to individually are already committed to a significant public campaign that may include industrial action. They say that conditions like research and study leave, or the ability to share their expertise with other organisations outside the university, are a core part of being an academic.
TEU vice president Kim Dirks, who is a senior lecturer at the university, has emphasised the academics are not seeking to improve their own benefits or conditions – simply to retain what already exists as standard practice in the university.
“This can be resolved easily and we want it resolved quickly. We are not asking for anything new or unreasonable,” said Dr Dirks.
As part of their campaign the academics have launched a website at http://saveourconditions.org with information, media releases, posters, videos and other information. They are inviting supporters tosubmit their own comments or message of support via that website.