Women need to act to save seats on councils

Posted By TEU on Apr 10, 2014 |

Tertiary Update Vol 17  No 9

Parliament needs to hear from women if it is going to vote to protect women’s voice on university and wānanga councils says TEU women’s vice-president Cat Pausé.

“Men already outnumber women on university councils by roughly three to one. Most of these women on council are there because staff and students elected them.  The minister has only appointed five women to university councils so appointments are not going to ensure women’s voices will be heard.”

Cat Pausé says all three of the minister’s proposals will decrease the number of women on university councils.

  1. “Taking away the elected staff and student seats is bad for democracy and bad for women. These seats in particular are the path for most women who get onto councils. Most staff and students at tertiary institutions are women, So, it’s no surprise women lose out when you take away democracy.”
  2. “All the research shows organisations with more women are better governed. Women have governance skills, but we know from experience when the minister says he wants councils to focus on people with governance skills he means white, male accountants, lawyers and company directors.”
  3. “Reducing the size of councils reduces the space for council to reflect the communities they represent. Not just women, but Pasifika, alumni, small local businesses and community groups all lose their place at the council table when all the seats except those belonging to the minister and big business are taken away.”

Cat Pausé is calling on women in tertiary education to write a submission telling parliament it needs to protect the voice for women on university and wānanga councils and further, to reinstate them on polytechnic councils.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. ‘We want people to vote’
  2. Wintec members vote on 1.5 percent
  3. Pay rises crash after financial crisis
  4. Living wage campaign at Auckland University

Other news

Classes were cancelled and staff had their pay docked as UCOL workers went on strike again in protest against the polytechnic’s employment conditions. TEU branch president Tina Smith said “If I can’t role model to my students that we have to have the courage to stand up when things are wrong, what sort of lecturer would I be?” – Manawatu Standard

The vice-chancellor of Lincoln University says if its scientists can’t get funding from the Government they will be forced to work for other governments on biosecurity problems – Radio NZ

A Lincoln University senior lecturer is preparing to fight proposed job cuts he believes are a “blatant attack” on staff rights. Senior law lecturer Lawrence Hill said the proposal was “outside legal employment law” and he had “lawyered up” to fight for his job – The Press

‘The University is for sale’: Koch brothers target higher education – NEA Today

Why Tenured Professors Need Unions – The Public

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