Proper planning, not cuts demanded at Whitireia and Weltec

Posted By TEU on Apr 9, 2019 | 0 comments

Press Release Tuesday 9 April 2019

Proper planning, not cuts demanded at Whitireia and Weltec

Staff at Whitireia and Weltec are making a stand for a quality vocational
education system that places communities at its centre. This can only be
achieved if there is a strong plan that involves students, staff, and
community, according to the Tertiary Education Union.

Staff at the two Wellington based institutions are today beginning their
campaign with a petition demanding that the Chief Executive use the
knowledge and creativity of all staff. Their actions come as the leadership
of the institutions announces reviews which will see job cuts in
engineering and student services.

TEU National President, Michael Gilchrist, says with the review of
vocational education underway, the actions of the senior leadership at
Whitireia and Weltec are premature.

“We need to be putting our energies into getting right the long-term
funding model and structures which will ensure quality vocational education
in all communities. The Minister of Education can help by providing
transition funding and a long awaited review of the funding model, a model
that Chris Hipkins agrees is broken.

Gilchrist says institutional leaders can help plan for the future by
working with students, staff, and communities rather than slashing jobs.

“Cutting expenditure by over 15%, including cuts in student support
services won’t help students or the institutions. Slashing courses in
engineering makes no sense when the government is looking at making
polytechnics responsible for in-work training and apprentices. With the
Reform of Vocational Education being reported back in a few months, it is
premature to cut services now that will be needed in the future.”

As well as the petition, staff and students will be working with students
to highlight how crucial support services are to learning and well-being.

James Ranstead, NZUSA President, says that both the government and
institutional leaders need to understand that support services are a right,
not a nice to have. “Our report into mental health and conversations with
students daily indicate just how crucial support services are.”

“It’s only by working together – staff, students, institutional leaders,
and government – that we’ll ensure students have quality education in the
places they live”, says Gilchrist.

Media contact:

Michael Gilchrist, Te Tumu Whakarae President- TEU:

Daniel Benson-Guiu, Organiser- TEU: 022 312 1439

James Ranstead, National Presdient- NZUSA: 027 868 4989

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