“Removing promotion criteria and academic leave from our collective agreement means the university will not need to negotiate with us in the future. If it wants to make changes to these important employment rights, it will no longer need to agree with us first,” said Victoria University Academic Sarah Proctor-Thomson.
Sarah Proctor-Thomson’s comments follow a proposal in employment negotiations by the Victoria University of Wellington to shift the promotions criteria and academic leave provisions from its academic collective agreement into separate policies that would not need to be negotiated with the TEU.
The university says it wants to shift the two provisions to ‘streamline’ the collective agreement and make it smaller.
The promotions criteria schedule determines how promotions work within the university at each level. The criteria ensure the university treats everyone applying for a promotion equitably and transparently. The academic leave schedule covers research and study leave, conference leave, work related travel, exchange leave and other academic leave. Again, the criteria ensure the university treats all academics equitably and transparently.
Sarah Proctor-Thomson says fair promotions criteria and fair ways of managing academic leave are crucial to the work academics do.
“These schedules help me do my job, and teach my students. I want to have a say, through my union, in any changes to them.”
Academics held a union meeting this week and expressed their concern about the proposed changes. TEU returns to negotiations with Victoria University soon, where it will be outlining its concerns with these proposals from the university as well as other claims the university has made.