TEU is asking academic unions around the world to warn their members to be wary of transferring to the University of Auckland because of the vice chancellor’s efforts to remove from the academics’ collective agreement some major conditions around research and study leave, disciplinary procedures and time spent in professional activities outside the university. TEU is recommending that any academic staff thinking of relocating to the University of Auckland should contact the TEU before making a final commitment.
TEU national secretary Sharn Riggs has notified overseas tertiary education unions that appointees to the university from overseas should be aware that “this is a serious and protracted dispute about important conditions, in which university management is intransigent. The dispute may well escalate in coming months. New employees may be offered an individual agreement on the new terms as part of their offer of employment from the university. That agreement may include the four percent and the additional week’s holiday offered to non-union staff by university management. Once in the university, joining the union may lead to a loss of the four percent and the weeks holiday. In other words, new academic staff may find themselves in the invidious position of having to take a cut in their anticipated salary in order to be a union member and have access to the disputed conditions.”
Mike Jennings from the Irish Federation of University Teachers has replied:
“Thank you for alerting me to this thoroughly disreputable and distasteful behaviour on the part of the vice-chancellor of the University of Auckland. I will certainly bring it to the attention of all members of IFUT.
I am sure that internationally academics would stay well clear of a university which treats its faculty members so shoddily.”
The Australian and UK unions have responded in a similar vein.