Union members at AUT strike for Living Wage

Posted By TEU on Oct 26, 2018 | 2 comments


Tertiary Update – Vol 21 No 19

Members of the Tertiary Education Union (TEU) at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) are taking strike action over their collective negotiations that have so far seen management not agreeing to boost pay for all staff at the institution.

Union members have been negotiating collectively for a Living Wage, so that the lowest paid earn enough to live on and provide for their families, and a 3 percent increase for staff covered by the collective agreements.

“Every person at AUT makes a huge contribution to the quality teaching and learning students received, and it is only right that they can go home at the end of the day knowing their work is properly valued.” said Irena Brorens, the TEU’s national industrial officer.

Since the morning of Friday 19 October, union members have not been releasing student marks. The strike action will continue until 2 November.

Paying a Living Wage will ensure AUT becomes a place of work the lowest paid can be guaranteed they will earn enough to enjoy a modest standard of living. Over one thousand staff and students recently signed a petition calling on the Vice-Chancellor to pay staff the Living Wage.

A 3 percent boost in pay would also go some way to ensuring salaries at the university reflect the time, energy and skill staff put into their jobs.

“What we’re talking about here are the people who make studying at AUT possible,” Brorens added.

“The decision to strike is never taken lightly. We have also been talking to the students’ union about the action we are taking, and have reiterated that their study depends on staff having good salaries and working conditions.”

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Minister rejects stronger voice for students and staff
  2. At our wits end
  3. TEU elects Michael Gilchrist as new president

Other news

Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis spoke to Māori education peak bodies recently.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has announced it is facing its first ever deficit this financial year, which it projects will be between $2 million and $6 million.

The government has launched its Construction Skills Action Plan.

Otago University is putting up tuition and student services fees by 2 per cent.

Radio New Zealand took an in-depth look at the decline of enrolments in the humanities and what could be done about it.

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2 Comments

  1. Well done members at AUT for your courageous industrial action in support of a Living Wage and a modest pay increase. No-one likes having to take action of this kind but sometimes it is the only way to gain respect for the staff who are providing the services for students, teaching them and doing vital research. We have paid the costs of a competitive model and ever decreasing funding in our sector. The response has been to increase management and further disempower staff. We have to take back some of that power if we are going to improve the situation in our institutions and our sector. You have our total support. Tu kotahi, tu kaha.

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  2. I fully support your strike on payrise, which staff at AUT deserves, however not passing marks to student is ridiculous way to protest adding unnecessary pressure to students during exam period. You can protest in other ways to punish AUT management not scrutinizing innocent students. Our lecturers are not releasing our marks even request made in person, we have every right to know how we are tracking academically. Please be sensible and stop this horrendous protest method and find other ways to protest. Sincerely, anonymous student at AUT

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