Whitireia settles

Posted By TEU on Nov 17, 2011 |

Tertiary Update Vol 14 no 43

TEU members have successfully negotiated a collective agreement at a third polytechnic that was part of the old ITP MECA. The Whitireia New Zealand Collective Agreement was ratified, at a stopwork meeting this week, with 98 percent of members voting in favour of the new agreement.

TEU national advocate Irena Brorens says the real benefit for members, apart from finally getting a pay rise after such a long time, is that they are back on a collective agreement after nearly a year of being on individual agreements.

“It has been a long and difficult dispute with Whitireia, in a tough political environment.  We’re glad it’s over and people will finally get some more money before the end of the year.

Union members and the polytechnic have agreed to a two year term with a pay rise of two percent  and a $1500 lump sum payment pro rata for the first year and two percent for the second. As at Unitec, duty hours will change to 37.5 hours a week and some discretionary leave will be converted to time that Whitireia can direct. (One week per year from next year and a second week from 2013 for some employees). Whitireia will compensate union members with an extra 2 percent pay for each week converted from discretionary leave, and Whitireia will not direct those weeks for classroom teaching duties.

“We believe that this is the best settlement we can achieve in the current circumstances and with the history of this long dispute,” said Ms Brorens.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. 28 jobs go in ‘rightsizing’ exercise at MIT
  2. Campaign softens cuts at Aoraki
  3. Students oppose TEC cuts to pre-degree funding

Other news

Is there really no money available for tertiary education “in the foreseeable future”? The fourth in TEU’s series of election charts about what is going on in tertiary education – TEU

A long-running employment agreement dispute at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology could soon be resolved with a staff vote on a revised offer. About 200 TEU members at CPIT have been protesting against moves to extend teaching hours and cut leave. When negotiations reached a stalemate last month, both parties entered mediation and CPIT presented a revised offer. TEU organiser Phil Dodds said CPIT’s new offer was a “win-win” for both sides. – Christchurch Press

New Zealand’s top science and technology honour has been won by a woman for the first time. Christine Winterbourn from Otago University has been awarded the Rutherford Medal by the Royal Society for discoveries in free radical biology – Radio NZ

The UK Conservative-led government is introducing primary legislation that paves the way for full-scale privatisation of the higher education sector despite a lack of public support. There is a need for a multi-level campaign to stop this as it will destabilise and tarnish the entire sector – University World News

The New Zealand lamb processor, CMP, a subsidiary of ANZCO Foods, has brutally locked out 111 workers at its plant in Marton, New Zealand, in order to force them and their union, the New Zealand Meatworkers Union, to sign off on pay cuts and unacceptable changes to terms and conditions. Send a message to ANZCO Foods demanding an end to the lockout and a return to the bargaining table – IUF

“The singing sirens of Lorelei have distracted ITPs from time to time. Those sirens have come in the guise of degree teaching and research and just like those women of the Rhine, have lured the providers onto the rocks. The search for parity of esteem is not simply a desire to be the same, and where technical and career providers have attempted to pursue a sameness with universities, the result has been rather threatening to the mission of the very provision of the kinds of education and training that mark the ITP providers as being different from the university.” – Stuart Middleton

“If you hear [in the discussion of the Transpacific Partnership trade agreement] echoes of light-handed regulation that brought us leaky buildings, Pike River, finance company collapses and weak liability for oil disasters like the Rena, and new subsidies and labour laws for Warner Bros to keep the Hobbit in New Zealand, you are spot on.” – Dr Jane Kelsey in the New Zealand Herald

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