TEU saves Waikato arts jobs

Posted By TEU on May 5, 2011 |

Tertiary Update Vol 14 No 15

A change proposal at Waikato’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences that was initially forecasting 17 or 18 redundancies has now been called off with nearly all staff keeping their jobs. After consultation, submissions from a range of interested parties, including TEU, and a few voluntary redundancies, the faculty was finally proposing last week to cut just 1.5 full time academic positions; a half time place in the School of Religious Studies and a senior lecturer from the School of Geography.

However, last Thursday TEU advised the three senior geography lecturers and their colleagues in the wider faculty that the union would be challenging aspects of the university’s review because of the recent Massey University v Wrigley and Kelly employment court decision. TEU’s deputy secretary, Nanette Cormack, suggested that Waikato University not proceed with its selection of one of the three lecturers for redundancy, as the decision was unlikely to comply with the recent employment court ruling.

Later the same day the dean of the faculty advised the three lecturers he had decided not to proceed with the planned selection process and the interviews scheduled for this Tuesday would be cancelled.

Instead, the dean is considering other possible ways in which the faculty and the geography/tourism programme can make savings.

Ms Cormack says it is an exciting victory for union members and shows how two union members’ victory in one part of the country can help others in a different city.

“The result is many people still have their jobs, and Waikato retains some valuable and experienced staff. We’re still working to save the one remaining job under threat, and we are hopeful we can,” said Ms Cormack.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Five ITPs continue to resist their obligation to bargain
  2. AUT profit at expense of students and staff
  3. NatColl strike kick-starts negotiations
  4. Rosette furore at Auckland graduation

Other news

“Likening academics who advocate for change based on their rigorous and well-executed research to a lobby that is protecting their economic interests is an attack on academic freedom. Impugning academics’ credibility in this way is a worldwide problem that is convincing many academics that it is not worth their reputation to speak publicly on their area of expertise.” TEU national president Sandra Greytakes a public stand in favour of academics taking public stands.

Student loan repayments have increased $2.5 million since Kiwi graduates living overseas were urged to support the Christchurch earthquake. Inland Revenue’s March figures showed a $2.5m increase in loan payments on the same period last year. About 1,000 additional debtors made payments – The Press

The faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago filed paperwork Friday with the state’s labor relations board to become one of only a handful of research universities where professors engage in collective bargaining. Friday’s announcement represents the first major victory for a partnership between the American Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Professors. The two unions have started a campaign to focus on organizing faculty members at research institutions – Inside Higher Ed

The link to last week’s zombie story was so popular that we have another this week. Two academics were arrested in London last week for attempting to hold a “Zombie Wedding” in Soho Square scheduled to coincide with William and Kate’s royal wedding breakfast, before moving on for a “Zombie Fertility Rite” at the Eros statue in Piccadilly Square. – Times Higher Education Supplement

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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