Unitec staff hold Black Friday rally to protest cuts

Posted By TEU on Nov 12, 2015 | 1 comment

Tertiary Update Vol 18 No 38

Unitec staff will rally tomorrow morning to oppose their polytechnic’s plan to cut hundreds of jobs and privatise student support.

The rally will take place at Unitec’s Gate 4, Carrington Rd, Mt Albert, between 7.30-8.30 am.

TEU’s national secretary Sharn Riggs will be at the rally, along with tertiary education staff and students from all of Auckland’s public tertiary education institutions.

She says if Unitec’s plan goes ahead students wanting help will need to ring up a call centre run by multinational company Concentrix.

“Students will be paying more money next year and getting less support. It’s not fair on them and it’s not fair on the many people who work to help those students but who will lose their jobs.”

Riggs says the direction Unitec is trying to go is a bad model for education and she expects other institutions will warn Unitec before it damages itself, its students and the reputation of tertiary education in New Zealand.

TEU’s Unitec branch president Sid Aksoy says Unitec’s managers have not listened to any of the over 100 submissions people working at Unitec wrote proposing solutions that did not involve job cuts or taking away student support.

Aksoy told Auckland’s Central Leader that Unitec’s plan indicates more privatisation could be coming.

“I can’t see how we can cater in a successful and meaningful way for the needs of students by decreasing staff.”

Meanwhile, Concentrix, the company that will be providing a call centre to replace Unitec’s current student support workers, is currently advertising multiple casual and temporary jobs for a Mt Albert-based client. It says the jobs would suit ‘technically minded” students. They will have changing hours of work depending on business need, but would work between 7am – 1am on weekdays, weekends and public holidays, and would need to work and train through Christmas holidays.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Six weeks to sort Canterbury polytechnic merger
  2. Upston signs on for equal pay
  3. Kelsey urges public opposition to TPPA
  4. Quantum’s PTE fraud rorts student loans

Other news

Photos from TEU Annual Conference this week in Kilbirnie – Flickr

The Council of Trade Unions is urging Māori farmers to withhold their stock from meat processing giant AFFCO in a bid to restart contract talks – Radio New Zealand

On 27 and 28 November just before the climate talks in Paris,  the “People’s Climate March” will take place around the world including in NZ to call for a real climate action plan from that conference – Helen Kelly

University of Otago dentistry students were forced to resit their last exam without being told why, after 98 unmarked scripts were stolen from the Clocktower Building – Otago Daily Times

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