‘Consult on promotions policy’: TEU to Auckland VC

Posted By TEU on Nov 20, 2014 |

Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 40

TEU is asking the vice-chancellor of the University of Auckland to engage in a process of consultation on the university’s Academic Grades, Standards and Criteria policy and other policies so the two sides can avoid further litigation.

Earlier this month the Employment Relations Authority decided that the vice-chancellor , Prof Stuart McCutcheon has the right to amend the Academic Grades, Standards and Criteria policy, but he can only do that once a review, which includes participation from union members, has ended.

McCutcheon is bound by a requirement in the collective agreement to act in ‘good faith’ and hold a participatory review. The vice-chancellor says the review is over, but TEU members at the university say it has not concluded yet, and there is no outcome.

Organiser Jane Kostanich says McCutcheon should wait to make any changes until after the he has first met his obligations to consult with TEU.  TEU has written to the vice-chancellor seeking to reach agreement before 1 December on the process for reviewing the policies referred to in the collective agreement including how a review would conclude.

Branch co-president Nina Mamnani on behalf of the branch committee has written to all members seeking their support, and she hopes to reach an agreement with the vice-chancellor so they can avoid further legal battles.

“We are really concerned, not only about the vice-chancellor’s process for this review, but also the way he might handle other key academic policies such as Research and Study Leave and Discipline if we do not defend a fair, consultative process now,” said Kostanich.

Kostanich says until the participatory process is finished McCutcheon can only make changes to the promotions policy for academics who are not members of the union and who are on individual employment agreements.

Also in Tertiary Update this week

  1. Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
  2. Academics say academic freedom getting worse
  3. TEC, Ministry and Treasury want new funding model
  4. Asia-Pacific plans for gender equality

Other news

The principal intent of National’s employment law reforms appears to be to limit unions’ ability to operate effectively in the workplace, hence weakening unions’ power and undermining the efficacy of collective bargaining – Dr Stephen Blumenfeld in the Dominion Post

Brett and thousands of workers in the fast food industry are tied to what are called zero hour contracts, where the employer is under no obligation to provide work. His work week has varied from a high of 42 hours one week, to just four in another when he was sick and couldn’t do all his rostered shifts – Radio New Zealand

New Zealand’s world ranking for research and development spending continues to drop, despite increased incentives for companies to invest, according to a report by Grant Thornton, which puts New Zealand near the bottom of the table. Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce dismissed the report, saying the survey did not reflect what he had been seeing in New Zealand – New Zealand Herald

Being bullied, ridiculed, harassed or humiliated at work on a weekly basis is standard for some tertiary education employees, according to a nationwide survey of the sector.And, despite staff reporting the problems to their employers, more than 30 per cent say the issues remain unresolved – Manawatu Standard

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