Quick strike at Weltec restarts negotiations

Posted By TEU on Sep 1, 2011 |

Tertiary Update Vol 14 No 32

After TEU members at Weltec took a lightning strike across Weltec’s three campuses (Petone, Wellington and Auckland) earlier this week the union’s bargaining team was able to meet with the polytechnic’s chief executive. Because of those discussions, TEU members have suspended the threat of further strikes or other industrial action now for the rest of the week, and are hopeful that they will be back negotiating formally soon.

Before the strike on Monday Weltec employers wanted to increase staff weekly duty hours, remove all discretionary leave from new staff and tell existing staff how they can use their discretionary leave as well as claim the flexibility to require staff to work any hours between 7.00 am and 9.30 pm Monday to Sunday.

TEU organiser Phil Dyhrberg said the existing employment conditions are working well for Weltec and he is hopeful now that the two sides can reach a positive agreement.

“Last year Weltec had a surplus of $3.6 million. It got more revenue both from government and from other sources. It grew its asset base by $5 million. So there seems little financial reason for staff working longer working hours, the possibility of working late into the evening on Sundays, or less say for staff over how they use their leave.”

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. SIT academics retain core working conditions
  2. Canterbury’s international student numbers slump
  3. More investment needed in Canterbury University
  4. Ten new trades academies

Other news

TEU’s boycott of Courses and Careers Day at the University of Auckland was averted in last minute negotiations after the university’s vice-chancellor agreed not to oppose an application by the union for facilitation by the Employment Relations Authority. Up until that point, the vice-chancellor had been opposed to facilitation, thereby slowing the negotiation process down.

New Zealand secondary schools are quietly being redesigned in a way that could make them dramatically more relevant to young people who are not heading towards university – New Zealand Herald

Yes, the public has a right to information about how public institutions are performing, but that information shouldn’t be stripped of meaning and context just so people can absorb it quickly and easily. That is unfair on the universities being ranked, and it is unfair on people who want a fuller understanding of how they are performing – Manawatu Standard

A further 50,000 people who live overseas and owe money on their student loans are going to be targeted by the Government. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says a target programme aimed at 1000 debt holders in Australia and has netted more $4.7 million in debt repayments. The programme will be extended to cover not only people in Australia, but also Britain – Radio NZ

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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