ITP MECA saga goes back to court

Posted By TEU on Mar 10, 2011 |

Tertiary Update Vol 14 No 7

The on-going saga around the ITP multi-employer collective agreement will head to court one more time.

TEU has applied to the Employment Court claiming it should not be required to continue to bargain with the six ex-ITP MECA employers (WITT, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Unitec, NorthTec, Whitireia and Wintec) for a new multi-employer agreement because its members have already voted in a ballot that they don’t want such an agreement. In response, the six employers claim that TEU has illegally cross-initiated for six collective employment agreements, one at each of the institutions.

The Employment Relations Authority determined yesterday that the matter should proceed straight to the court, rather than being heard by the authority first.

The ITP MECA has been in turmoil for two years now while employers have tried to remove core conditions from union members. Union members have resisted these attempts but have missed pay rises and the chance to negotiate a timely agreement because of the employers’ intransigence.

TEU members told Tertiary Update that they are astounded that these employers are continuing to push for a multi-employer collective agreement that nobody wants, and that they, the staff, just want to get on with negotiating a collective agreement at their own workplaces.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Canterbury staff should be excused from PBRF
  2. Auckland VC’s refusal to negotiate leads to PBRF strike
  3. No place for would-be Otago students
  4. Women’s Day highlights growing pay gap
  5. TEU tells govt it needs to change its policy
  6. Trade ministry too busy to answer questions

Other news

“This is a dispute that need not happen, should not happen. It baffles me, and I know it baffles people at all levels in the university as to why the CEO has taken this confrontational route. I hope, and so does the university community as a whole, that common sense prevails and we move on to the real challenges facing our university – Dr Haworth’s opinion piece in this morning’s New Zealand Herald.

The University of Canterbury believes it has lost only a few hundred enrolments as a result of last month’s earthquake. Vice-chancellor Rod Carr says that so far the equivalent of 14,200 full-time students have enrolled for the year. Dr Carr expects the roll will be only 3% below normal – Radio NZ

Waikato University is again being criticised over art and social sciences faculty redundancies. The university has since disestablished 8.7 fulltime positions through voluntary redundancy and retirement, and is considering another 2.5 (two senior lecturers and one part-timer). The university said five positions originally proposed for redundancy had been taken off the table after “extensive consultation”. But TEU says withdrawal of the five positions shows the university plans, by implication, went too far –Waikato Times

The battle between Republicans and labour unions in Ohio, Wisconsin and other states is ostensibly about public workers’ pay, benefits and bargaining rights. What is really at stake, however, is not labour’s income. It is labour’s influence – not just in the American workplace but also in American politics –Washington Post

More universities in England could be put at risk of bankruptcy as a result of cuts and changes to funding, the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned – BBC

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.


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