Reviews, restructuring and redundancy: an insecure sector exposed

Posted By TEU on Jun 12, 2014 |

Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 18

Three out of five tertiary education workers believe their jobs will be restructured within the next two years, and 30 percent believe they will be made redundant, according to a new nationwide survey on work and wellbeing in the tertiary education sector.

The survey, commissioned by TEU and undertaken by AUT’s Work Research Institute reveals a sector working in fear. It comes after 59 reviews and restructures, across 16 different tertiary institutions, affecting over 350 staff members, during March and April alone.

The number of reviews, restructures and redundancies in tertiary education has been so pervasive in recent years that many remaining staff are living under a cloud of job insecurity and fear for themselves and their families, says TEU national president Lesley Francey.

Manukau Institute of Technology announced two weeks ago it would review its Creative Arts Faculty for the third time in seven years. Meanwhile Lincoln University currently has seven separate major reviews underway, all of which will result in job losses and Auckland University is in a review process involving all administrative staff.

The survey commissioned by the TEU shows that women and those working in polytechnics are the most likely to believe they will be restructured or made redundant in the next two years.

“These reviews are not about improving education. The main cause of these reviews is government underfunding. The government is spending half a billion dollars less on tertiary education than it did six years ago,” says Lesley Francey.

Just this week the University of Otago announced further belt tightening, with academic divisions expected to find savings of over $2 million per year. This again is expected to lead to reviews, restructuring and redundancies.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

1. New $80m campus next step in polytechnic merger?

2. Tea breaks, collective bargaining safe with Banks’ verdict – for now

3. Joyce shoots the messenger over polytechnic underfunding

4. ACE becoming election issue

5. Budget figures reveal tertiary squeeze could be for the long haul

Other news

Changes to student allowances making it easier for sole parents welcomed – New Zealand Herald, could go further says NZUSA

Greens announce 3D Printing, community-university sharing policy – Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

‘Academic divisions at the University of Otago have agreed to tighten their belts in the wake of a multimillion-dollar shortfall caused by a failure to meet forecast student numbers.’ – Otago Daily Times

Former AUT academic sacked from UK professor post after financial irregularities investigated – New Zealand Herald

Australian sister union to hold ‘Bust the Budget’ rallies in response to Abbott government’s cuts to tertiary education – NTEU

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