Tēnā koutou katoa
I have been actively involved with union activities over the past 21 years since a ‘re-positioning’ exercise threatened my job in 2000. I have served as Branch President of the Massey Branch for over 6 years and continue to be an active branch committee member where I currently hold the position of Vice-President.
My work at Massey University in IT support, web publishing and online research design requires a blend of academic and general staff duties which helps to understand the needs of our members. Our Union needs to encourage its members to invest some energy into tertiary affairs and harness the knowledge and consideration they can provide.
I have been a member of the Industrial and Professional Committee for most of the years since 2015. I was also a member of the National Council of AUS when it merged with ASTE to become the Tertiary Education Union. Our combined union voice has developed its bicultural relationships and strengthened our ability to stake a claim with government for adequate public funding of the sector to benefit New Zealand and our community needs.
The history of our union as an association serves to protect the integrity of our professions and the ability of tertiary staff to speak out as a critic and conscience of society. The industrial muscle of union members is needed more than ever in order to protect the wages and conditions of staff employed in the sector from the current short-term economic theories and the global market place mentality. This national committee of TEU has a responsibility to educate, develop and exercise its members and regain the strength of unity in action.
Ongoing underfunding of the tertiary sector will continue to be a problem for the immediate future. The Tertiary Education Union must continue to promote its vision of a publicly funded education system, which can meet the needs of New Zealand in teaching, research, and the critical thinking we need to advance into the future. We need to inform and activate our members and other staff in our institutions of this vision, while also promoting discussion in the public realm of the need for adequate funding of this sector. We must foster a change in public opinion from the current business model of user-pays education to a more sustainable model serving local communities and the needs of New Zealand’s citizens.
I have the background knowledge of the Tertiary Education Union (TEU) and its history, with an ongoing interest in the issues facing the sector and its staff to provide a positive
contribution to TEU and the members it serves. I want to continue to build upon the experience and knowledge gained from my union activities at local and national levels and help guide the future of the tertiary sector in New Zealand.
I look forward to your support and hope I can contribute my energies on a national basis to help protect the future of public tertiary education in New Zealand.