TEU’s fifth annual Rā Mātanga (General Staff Day) took place yesterday at all eight universities and four polytechnics. The theme for general/allied/professional staff day this year was “Kauae runga, kauae raro – together we [general and academic] create the whole”.
TEU’s Te Tumu Whakarae Lesley Francey said ‘Kauae runga, kauae raro’ goes deeper than the simple truism that we cannot get by without each other.
“It implies not just that each needs the other, but that our work is stronger and more coherent when all kaimahi (workers) are well supported and respected in their work.”
In Otago 120 general staff gathered and were greeted by the vice-chancellor at the university, and 28 general staff and friends gathered at the polytechnic to celebrate the day and hear Service and Food Workers’ Union organiser, Lyndy McIntyre, talk about the Living Wage campaign. At Victoria University 70 people enjoyed pizza, cake, a great quiz and prizes, and several people joined the union.
“To whakanui (honour) general and allied staff for one day a year is important,’ said Lesley Francey. “But true kaha, truly strong relationships, comes from standing by each other day-to-day, every day and protecting each other’s rights. And in doing so, in taking this union stance, we protect our own rights too.” As the TEU waiata goes “tū kotahi, tū kaha – stand united and strong”.