General Staff Representatives on National Women's Committee (4).
Nominations have closed and Te Awatea Ward, Patricia Quensell, and Hannah Jenkin have been declared elected.
Tēnā koutou katoa,
I have enjoyed working as a General Staff Representative on the TEU National Women’s Committee (NWC) for the 2021-2022 term. The mahi that the committee does aligns with my passion for supporting the workers who are most vulnerable within tertiary education, who are often female. These roles and workers are often undervalued yet are crucial for empowering learners in the education sector and can have a transformative effect on individual wellbeing and the ripple effects into whānau and the wider community.
I was born and raised in the Cook Islands, and from a young age I became aware of inequities for women within their cultural realm, which has given me a passion for improving opportunities for women, but also for increasing equity for all underserved and priority peoples? I have had a varied career which includes establishing and then managing international businesses across New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Cook Islands and Tonga. Currently, I’m the Team Leader for the Student Support Services at Otago Polytechnic, where I also studied as a learner and graduated. I also work for Capable NZ as an assessor for The Bachelor’s in Applied Management and Bachelor’s in Social Services; a programme that makes tertiary education more accessible for people by regonising their prior learning and experience.
I am also a member of Otago Polytechnics Equity Committee which prioritises best practice initiatives to improve diversity and equity across Otago Polytechnic for staff and students.
I am passionate about providing opportunities for the community for second chance learning. For example, for the past ten years I have been working alongside likeminded colleagues in the Otago Community to provide targeted access to employment and education opportunities for priority groups across the Otago region where I am a founding member in the development of the organisation, Employment and Careers South’ dedicated to assisting people in the community who are looking for work.
Kia ora koutou! My name is Hannah Jenkin and I have put my name forward for the National Women's Committee as I believe in active union membership and would love to support mahi that creates a better work environment for our tertiary staff.
I have worked in tertiary education in various roles and areas of universities. At Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington I have been a Tutor of Sociology and Social Policy; a Research Assistant in Information Management; and have held library positions at both Massey University in Wellington and VUW. I am now an information professional, currently the Subject Librarian for Law at VUW.
My educational background is a BA majoring in English Literature and Sociology, with an Honours degree in Sociology. My postgraduate research focus was on gendered work, labour politics, social welfare and the future of work. I am now studying toward a library qualification, a Masters in Information Studies.
There is a lot of mahi to be done for tertiary workers. I have experienced being a precarious worker on fixed-term, casual and part-time contracts, with pay sometimes below the living wage. It is normal for young workers in our industry to work multiple low-paid contracts with limited job security, creating an incredibly difficult foundation for the future of the tertiary workforce. As we all know, workers across the industry are underpaid with wages not keeping up with inflation or international competitor employers. Being overworked and understaffed is the norm and each year we are haemorrhaging colleagues to other industries with more secure working conditions. I believe that through collective action we can change this reality.
I have previous involvement in union politics. While working at Wellington City Libraries I was elected as a PSA delegate for part-time library staff members at central city libraries. This group was predominantly low-paid, part-time workers. I have recently been elected as a general staff representative on the VUW TEU Branch Committee. I am also currently involved in the Gender Pay Equity campaign with TEU. We have been working to support the claim process on the Gender Pay Equity Reference Group and have been raising awareness about the claim with our staff members. This mahi is with the intention of raising the wages of library and clerical workers who are historically underpaid because they are female-dominated professions. We believe that those working in female-dominated professions deserve equitable rates to other industries performing the same level of skills. Just recently we celebrated the handing over of the claim to the VC with kai and kōrero. This is a fantastic and really exciting start to getting library and clerical workers toward an equitable and fair wage for the skilled labour they perform.
It is important to have representation of women’s voices in our union movement so that strategies like the pay equity campaign can target gendered discrimination in our communities. I would be honoured to support this kind of mahi for the future of our educational institutions.