Minister backs down from statement about staff

Posted By TEU on May 10, 2018 |


Tertiary Update – Vol 21 No 9

Minister for Education Chris Hipkins has backed down from comments made in a Cabinet Paper that suggested he was prepared to intervene to change working conditions for people working in institutes of technology and polytechnics.

Speaking at the Tertiary Education Union’s (TEU) conference on Friday, the Minster said the Cabinet Paper was wrong to say that ITPs would be helped by renegotiating “terms of employment to use staff more efficiently”. He went on to encourage TEU members to push for a Multi-Employer Collective Agreement.

Earlier in the day, Chief Executive of the Tertiary Education Commission, Tim Fowler, conceded on the same point, telling members that it was not government’s role to interfere in the collective bargaining process.

Fowler was speaking at a session for ITP members of the TEU, where they presented to him and his team their experience of the challenges facing the sector. The session was organised to inform the TEC’s ITP roadmap 2020 project.

Since publication of the Cabinet Paper, the TEU has gathered stories from hundreds of members about the lengths they go to give students the best possible learning experience. A selection of these stories was sent to the Prime Minister over the weekend as part of her Education Conversation.

The TEU has also written to, and met with, Tim Fowler, met with Ministry of Education officials, and briefed MPs at a meeting in Parliament. At the meeting, the TEU asked for evidence to support the claim in the Cabinet Paper that institutions would benefit from renegotiating terms of employment. This was not forthcoming.

The Minister has also been sent a comprehensive response from the TEU to the Cabinet Paper.

In every meeting and every correspondence, politicians and policy-makers have been reminded that staff conditions of work are students’ conditions  of learning.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. $6 billion hole risks plunging tertiary education into a funding crisis
  2. TEU takes steps towards advancing our commitment to Te Tiriti
  3. “Dear Jacinda… Staff are not the problem”
  4. Mixed review for government’s approach to tertiary education
  5. View from the conference floor
  6. Lockwood Smith needs to prove he’s willing to listen to students and staff

Other news

The Tertiary Education Commission has released details on how it will determine 2019 initial and final funding allocations – TEC

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority has placed tougher conditions on Te Wānanga O Aotearoa – NZQA

Liam Sloan, currently Interim Chief Executive of Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, has been confirmed as the new Chief Executive of the institute – NMIT

Education New Zealand has released a research report into the broader value that international education delivers for New Zealand – ENZ

The funding round for the 2018/19 international student wellbeing strategy opened this week – Education

Jacinda Ardern has announced the formation of a tripartite Future of Work Forum with the Government, Business New Zealand and the Council of Trade Unions – Beehive

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