Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 32
The TEU bargaining team hope a new employment agreement at Tai Poutini Polytechnic will better protect casual employees if TEU members will vote for it next week.
The new two-year agreement includes a new definition of casual tutors, a clause that means that their salary will be reviewed annually rather than after completing the equivalent of a year’s full time teaching, and a review of all casual employment to verify the employee’s correct employment status.
Local organiser Phil Dodds says these and other improvements will help protect casual tutors from missing out on basic work rights.
“While we had considerable debate about casual/part-time and proportional employment, we believe the polytechnic is willing to ensure that employees are correctly appointed.”
The agreement also includes two pay rises of 1 percent for all staff, a wellness day that staff can deduct from sick leave without explanation and an improvement in reimbursement for lenses for those who need glasses.
Phil Dodds says the improvements to working conditions in the new collective agreement are positive and there are no claw backs to existing conditions.
“The pay rise is below our claim, but the polytechnic’s position was that any bigger increases would require productivity gains, such as increased to timetabled teaching hours, which the bargaining team was not prepared to entertain.”
The agreement also includes a union-members-only provision. If members ratify the agreement they will get access to its pay rises and improved working conditions four months earlier that non-members.
Also in Tertiary Update this week:
- Protect yourself from new law – join a union
- Draper and Edwards contest vice-presidency
- Teacher educators ‘dismayed’ at Otago cuts
- Vic students want government to prioritise student debt
- New National MPs leave space on uni councils
Hard-up students are scrimping on basic necessities due to shoe-string budgets, worrying student union leaders. A New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) survey of 5000 polytechnic and university students found nearly half of full-time students were in ‘financial distress’ and didn’t have enough money for basic accommodation, clothing and food requirements. – Manawatu Standard
The billionaire Koch brothers attempted to wield political influence over appointments and teaching at a major US university in exchange for donations, newly published documents reveal – The Guardian
The Woolf Fisher Trust and the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) have combined to establish the Woolf Fisher First-in-Family AUT Scholarships to support and encourage young people from families with no history of successful university education to complete a university degree – AUT
Scholars at Risk is gravely concerned over reports that Chinese professor Ilham Tohti, a public intellectual and economics professor, was convicted on charges of separatism and sentenced to life in prison – Scholars at Risk
Murdoch University has reported its vice-chancellor, Professor Richard Higgott, to the Corruption and Crime Commission following an internal investigation – West Australia Today