Five polytechnic employers, Unitec, Northtec, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Whitireia and Wintec, have informed TEU that they are appealing the recent Employment Court decision that determined that TEU was legally entitled to initiate for site-based collective agreements at each of the five polytechnics.
TEU has informed the employers’ lawyer that it will oppose the application for appeal. National industrial officer Irena Brorens is currently working on TEU’s legal response, and is developing campaign resources.
“Union members and staff are meeting on Monday to finalise a plan, said Ms Brorens. “Union members at the five branches are sick of waiting. They have a legal right to negotiate a collective agreement in the form that they choose. Rather than sitting down to talk about important issues about pay, working conditions and quality education these five employers continue to hide from their responsibilities to negotiate with their own employees. They have dragged this on for too long.”
TEU members at all five of the sites, plus the other ex-ITP MECA site, WITT have all voted twice that they want to negotiate site-based collective agreements rather than a new multi-employer collective agreement.
The TEU has reached an amicable settlement with WITT.
Ms Brorens says WITT’s quick settlement shows the other employers’ decision to appeal is a waste of public money, and more importantly it is a waste of time.
“Union members at these five polytechnics currently do not have a collective agreement because the employers have wasted so much time. New staff are not able to claim important working conditions because there are no collective agreements to join,” said Ms Brorens.