Casual employees want security not flexibility

Posted By TEU on Jul 18, 2013 | 1 comment

Tertiary Update Vol 16 No 24

Seven out of every eight TEU members who are on casual, fixed-term or insecure employment agreements would like  permanent work, according to TEU’s recent survey of casual work.

TEU’s national president Lesley Francey, who instigated the survey says this debunks the employer myth that workers like casual, short term or insecure jobs because they offer more flexibility.

“In reality most of these non-permanent jobs only offer the employer more flexibility. They save the employer money, but offer no job security or career path for people working in tertiary institutions.”

One in six of the 1900 survey respondents currently had a non-permanent or insecure job, and a further 38 percent had held such a job previously for the tertiary institution for which they worked.

Lesley Francey says that the survey uncovered many examples of people who have been on rolling fixed-term agreements year after year.

“Over a third of the people we surveyed in non-permanent employment had worked at their tertiary institution for more than five years,” said Lesley Francey.

A TEU member from the University of Canterbury won the survey prize draw, and TEU organisers around the country are currently following up with nearly a hundred survey respondents who requested TEU investigate their employment agreement.

Read one Kāpiti woman’s story about a casual career in tertiary education.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Hinemoana Baker – eight years without a holiday
  2. MOOC questions need answering
  3. PBRF pressures changing our workforce
  4. Digital information creating workplace stress
  5. Treasury misses the point of tertiary education

Other news

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has spent US$472-million (so far) on higher education. So why are many in academe not writing thank-you notes? – The Chronicle of Higher Education

We have a vacancy for an organiser based in our Palmerston North office. This is a fulltime position and we are seeking applicants committed to the trade union movement with a combination of organising, advocacy, communication and administrative skills – TEU

“For the lowest income 30 percent of our households, I estimate they have faced inflation over the year 0.2 to 0.3 percentage points higher than the official CPI. The increase in housing prices, particularly rents, up 2.1 percent for the year, hit low income families harder than others because they are a larger part of their incomes.” – Bill Rosenberg, CTU

Challenging times continue for Aoraki Polytechnic as it stares down a forecast loss of $1.6 million and a predicted drop of 276 students. Acting chief executive Alex Cabrera said he would be talking to the council about the figures tomorrow. Factors impacting this included a strong regional economy with low unemployment. As a result of the drop in students, redundancies could happen, he said – Timaru Herald

Governments are nearing the end of negotiations on one of the most far-reaching international free trade agreements in history. The deal, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is aimed at boosting trade among 12 participating countries, and the next and final round runs July 15-24. And because information on the negotiations is not public, it’s hard to know what the impacts will be – Mother Jones

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