Too many fixed term jobs for on-going work

Posted By TEU on Mar 17, 2011 |

Tertiary Update Vol 14 No 8

New Zealand tertiary institutions are relying too heavily on casual and temporary labour for jobs that should be permanent says TEU national president Dr Sandra Grey.

The growth of casual labour in tertiary education is a growing problem. Dr Grey cites as an example for change the Templin Manifesto; a document developed by the German education trade union Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft, which states that researchers working towards their doctorate should enjoy adequate conditions of employment, rooted in collective bargaining. The manifesto also states that academics need reliable career prospects that facilitate a permanent future in higher education and research, and that higher education institutions need to create enough permanent positions for staff to do that institute’s professional work.

Dr Grey says that it is unacceptable that staff doing permanent jobs should be on fixed term or temporary employment agreements with lesser terms and pay.

“It’s not just academics like the ones the Templin Manifesto focuses on. General staff are affected by casualisation too. It is particularly galling when you consider the experience, qualifications and training that many of those employees have. They have invested in their future and their career, but their employer refuses to do the same.”

Dr Grey says that the problem is particularly bad for women who are more likely to end up in these temporary or fixed term positions.

“If people are employed on a fixed term or in a casual job but the work is actually on-going they should join TEU.”

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. EIT Tairāwhiti merger secures extra govt funding
  2. Should pay increase match inflation?
  3. Course fees unchanged since 1992
  4. Auckland only 144 places behind Harvard
  5. India hikes spending on higher education

Other news

CPIT plans a staged return to its city campus over the coming weeks once the institution’s Madras Street campus is clear of a civil defence cordon established after the 22 February earthquake. The vast majority of CPIT’s city campus buildings were cleared by two structural engineering assessments. We are now awaiting final clearance from Civil Defence – CPIT

It was 25 years ago this week that Parumoana Community College was officially opened by Governor General Sir Paul Reeves as the tertiary education institute that became Whitireia Community Polytechnic. It was a significant launch of an initiative to change the social outcomes for the area. The first year opened with 48 nursing students and 60 secretarial students studying on the Porirua Campus, on the edge of Parumoana harbour – Whitireia

Up to seven management and computer support jobs will go if a scheme aimed at cutting costs at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology goes ahead. NMIT chief executive Tony Gray says the proposal would involve cutting management positions and combining IT support services with the Otago Polytechnic –Nelson Mail

The international Scholars at Risk Network, a group of over 250 higher education institutions in 30 countries fighting to protect endangered academics, researchers, and intellectuals has just launched a Norway Section. The Norway Section will organiseorganise and coordinate Scholars at Risk activities in Norway, including public awareness campaigns, talks and lectures by endangered scholars speaking about their experiences, advocacy projects on behalf of scholars who are imprisoned or otherwise silenced, and temporary academic positions for professors, lecturers, researchers and intellectuals suffering persecution in their home countries – Scholars at Risk

The IHC has appealed to the Supreme Court against a decision that could cost it $176 million in back pay for workers on overnight stays, despite three courts ruling against them. The Court of Appeal ruled last month that overnight stays fitted the legal definition of “work”, and that workers should be paid the minimum hourly wage for those stays – Dominion Post

Suppose someone were to describe a small country that provided free tertiary education, transport for schoolchildren and free healthcare – including heart surgery. You might suspect that such a country is either phenomenally rich or on the fast track to fiscal crisis. But Mauritius, a small island nation off the east coast of Africa, is neither particularly rich nor on its way to budgetary ruin. Nonetheless, it has spent the past decades successfully building a diverse economy, a democratic political system, and a strong social safety net – Joseph Stiglitz

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.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email