Iana Gritcan

Iana Gritcan
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My name is Iana Gritcan and I work as a Senior Chemistry Technician at AUT. I am writing this statement to give my reasons on why I want to be a representative of a general staff on a TEU National Women’s Committee and what my contribution would be. My main aspiration for standing up for this role is to make sure that the direction of union work includes interests of general staff and decision making serves general staff as much as it serves academic staff. I think that the general staff is a backbone of the university work, we enrol students, looking after our student and academic staff wellbeing, and in general we provide the wide variety of services ranging from keeping the university facilities clean to running complex scientific equipment. Despite these important roles, general staff in many cases stands on the front line when institutions need to cut cost by reducing amount of stuff, and in most cases, they are women. The things I want to see changed are acknowledgment of the general staff contribution to running the sector in a form of proper financial remuneration; more trust and freedom for general staff to organise and do their work; more career developing opportunities, for example, have extensive promotion scales, allowing to recognise the experience and expertise of general staff members. As for women role and position in our institutions, I believe that current culture benefits men to develop and progress their careers more than women and this has to change! I think the most powerful thing that women can do is to make sure we have our place at “decision making table” so our voices are heard. For example, I think there should a women quota for any committee in our institutions. To finalise, I want to say that I really enjoy working at the tertiary sector as a general staff, I like helping our students to build their expertise in a chosen field, seeing how their confidence grows, and assisting our academic colleagues to advance science. I also think that we have a long way ahead to make our workplaces fair and equitable for everyone.