Court rules again: it’s time for bargaining to begin

Posted By TEU on May 19, 2011 |

Tertiary Update Vol 14 No 17

TEU has won another significant legal decision against the five polytechnic employers who are refusing to negotiate site based collective agreements.

Last month a full bench of the Employment Court ruled that Northtec, Unitec, Wintec, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Whitireia were required to negotiate site based collective agreements in good faith according to TEU’s initiation notices. After losing this decision, the employers decided they wanted it appealed and sought a stay that would allow them to refuse to begin bargaining until a decision had been made as to whether or not the appeal would be allowed by the Appeal Court. The Court of Appeal heard the case on Tuesday 17 May and we await the decision.

The Employment Court heard the application for a stay last week and ruled, yet again, in favour of TEU.

On behalf of the full Employment Court, Chief Judge Colgan said:

“To now stop the collective bargaining that the judgment permits, based on the union’s bargaining initiations, would be to delay, perhaps significantly, the settlement of collective agreements. This would not accord with the statutory objectives of orderly bargaining and the prompt settlement of collective agreements.”

Justice Colgan also strongly recommended that the employers cooperate with the TEU to begin the process of bargaining and to explain to staff the on-going litigation and its effects.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Wintec management pockets student cash
  2. University of Auckland’s ranking at risk
  3. Opportunity the big tertiary education issue for the budget

Other news

In a letter sent to the Waikato Times, Management School Dean, Professor Frank Scrimgeour, advised staff he ”proposed to disestablish all senior tutor and tutor positions within the faculty.” The letter said it was still at proposal stage and staff had until 6 May to respond with ideas. The letter said the tutor positions were not consistent with the University’s commitment to research-led teaching and did not provide an adequate career track for new academic staff. – Waikato Times

“Is he aware that changes to the student loan rules that take effect next year has caused the Inland Revenue Department to shelve its new student loan software project after spending $21m; if so, when did he first become aware of the problem?” – David Shearer to the Minister for Tertiary Education (16 May 2011). An answer is due 24 May.

The Tertiary Education Commission is recovering up to $4.3 million from 18 ITOs, which have claimed more funds than they are entitled to in 2009, based on numbers of trainees and the status of trainees. “The money that is being recovered relates to funding claimed for trainees where there is no clear record of eligibility for government funding,” says Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce.

“This is why, for all my libertarian tendencies, I support strong public options. Public roads, public healthcare, public safety and public education. Education is perhaps the most important. The better educated someone is, the less likely they are to use other public options like healthcare or prison beds. So an investment now in education pays off many times over down the road.” – Forbes

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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