Judges tell polytechnics to get Ready2Go

Posted By TEU on Jun 23, 2011 | 1 comment

Tertiary Update Vol 14 No 22

The Court of Appeal ruled yesterday that five polytechnics must bargain site-based collective agreements with their staff members who are union members. The five polytechnics – NorthTec, Unitec, Wintec, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Whitireia – had refused to bargain site-based agreements after union members voted in February that was the type of collective agreement they wanted, and not a multi-employer agreement as the employers wanted.

The decision is another major legal victory for TEU members, who have been vindicated by the courts virtually every time they have had to contest a point of law with these five employers.

TEU national secretary Sharn Riggs said belonging to a large national union means these members are able employ the best possible legal representation and to take their employers in the highest courts.

“We have been able to do that” she said, “but it begs the question as to how these employers can justify the use of significant amounts of tax payers’ money on legal fees pursuing this issue.”

“The decision confirms what TEU members had always believed – that they should not be made to negotiate a collective agreement in a form that they did not want. ”

“Our members can finally get on with the important business of negotiating a collective agreement. They just want what members at WITT recently got – a fair pay rise and no loss of core working conditions.”

TEU members are continuing to sign a petition, already signed by over 500, calling on the employers at the five polytechnics to put aside their costly legal challenges and negotiate a collective employment agreement on their site.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Public tertiary institutions employ private lobbyist
  2. Tertiary education costs rise dramatically
  3. Engineers needed to build ultra-fast broadband
  4. Commission sets research targets

Other news

The Pay Equity Challenge, a coalition of business and community groups and unions, is welcoming Catherine Delahunty’s new Equal Pay Bill as an effective  way of dealing to the wage gap between men’s and women’s pay. “This bill modernises our approach to equal pay, and will help to give women the information they need to ensure that they are being paid fairly,” said coalition spokesperson Rebecca Matthews.

Massey University has decided not to appeal an Employment Court ruling that requires it to share information with staff whom it chooses to dismiss or make redundant during a restructuring process.

About 14,000 final-year students from across New Zealand’s eight universities will be surveyed this year – and again in two, five and 10 years’ time. Commissioned by Universities New Zealand and supported by government funding, the study aims to determine the ongoing impact of a tertiary education on graduates’ lives – Universities New Zealand.

When South Korea’s governing party revived a plan to “halve” tuition fees and supply extra public funding for students, it might have expected a warm welcome from an education-focused society with one of the highest university participation rates in the world. Instead, it served only to exacerbate existing discontent over high fees. Students from about 400 institutions joined a strike last week, taking to the streets instead of attending classes – Time Higher Education Supplement.

A European university group has unleashed a damning assessment of the most popular university rankings, claiming they ignore up to 99 per cent of the world’s 17,000-odd universities and incite some to manipulate or even misrepresent data. It says the best-known global rankings discourage diversity, with the top 500 place getters essentially pre-determined – The Australian.

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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