Workload and research performance drive personal employment cases

Posted By TEU on Aug 9, 2012 |

Tertiary Update Vol 15 No 27

Workload and performance issues relating to research or PBRF outcomes are the cause of many personal cases in tertiary institutions.

TEU’s national industrial officer Irena Brorens says TEU dealt with over a 150 personal cases at 28 institutions during March and April this year. Performance issues relating to research or PBRF outcomes, performance management and student complaints were an important cause of personal cases.

Irena Brorens had compiled the data as part of a regular report to TEU’s council. Much of the work that TEU organisers do is managing the personal employment cases of members. There are normally at least 100 active cases at any one time.

There was also a trend of cases arising from excessive workloads, changes in duties or cuts in hours of work.

Irena Brorens says it is important to follow the trends of things causing personal cases, such as workload pressures or PBRF performance, because then the union can work to eliminate the cause of the personal cases and thus save other members from facing the stress of a personal employment case.

The third significant trend was cases emerging from process issues following reviews or restructuring.

Irena Brorens said this third trend was not surprising given the amount of restructuring that is currently underway. During the period of her report, there were 65 reviews continuing at 17 branches and there are four new reviews. In total, these reviews affected over 300 members, and led to 22 redundancies.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Govt actions suppress education salaries
  2. Weltec tutors ponder building indemnity
  3. Mobile phone towers cause cancer worries
  4. Time to rethink student fees

Other news

If anyone is still wondering what happened to the energies and the organising principles that drove the Occupy movement – or if they’re merely wanting to be re-assured that neo-liberalism can be successfully resisted – they should be looking at the current student movements in Chile, and in Quebec. In both places, students have successfully rallied the entire society around the ideal that free education is a right, not a privilege – and that universities are more than (a) mere assembly lines for turning out corporate drones or (b) research centres whose only real purpose is to maximise business profits – Gordon Campbell

With 87,000 young Kiwis not in education, employment or training, and Christchurch desperately needing skilled tradespeople to help with the post-quake rebuild, it would seem to be a no-brainer to be meshing the two together. We could be setting up a generation of new builders, sparkies, and plumbers with the chance to establish themselves in well-paid careers for life. Give young people the training and skills, and the jobs and opportunities will follow. So why is it then, that out of a $42 million dollar Government budget for the Skills Canterbury programme just $7 million dollars has been spent training people to help solve the obvious skills shortage in the region? – Megan Woods on Radio Live.

Asian students from China, Korea and Vietnam wanting to study English in New Zealand are being told they have to pay higher fees than those from the Middle East or South America. The Human Rights Commission said education providers that charged different fees based on nationality could be in breach of the Human Rights Act, and is asking affected students to contact it – New Zealand Herald

Australia’s Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans says that increasing university fees would push higher education beyond the reach of students from poor backgrounds and those in regional Australia. His comments come after the leader of an elite group of universities urged the government to allow institutes to set their own student fees. Mr Evans said student debt would balloon if universities set their own fees – Sydney Morning Herald.

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