Why join TEU?.

  1. 1.

    Better pay

    Averaged over the last 15 years, no matter which tertiary institution you work at TEU has achieved pay rises significantly better than inflation. That means, in real dollar terms all TEU members are better off. Research shows that staff in unionised workplaces earn more than those in non-unionised workplaces. The more people who join, the stronger the union, and therefore the better off everybody is.

  2. 2.

    Fairer pay systems

    Most TEU members now get regular automatic pay rises based on experience and ability, rather than being made to compete with each other for performance pay bonuses handed out at the discretion of their manager.

  3. 3.

    More holidays and leave

    Unions campaigned successfully in 2007 to get all workers in New Zealand a fourth week’s annual leave.  But most TEU members do better than that with five weeks annual leave as well as the right to study leave or discretionary leave.

  4. 4.

    Access to financial benefits

    TEU membership also gives member-only discounts on Health Care Plus and a wide range of Member Advantage discounts around New Zealand and Australia. Learn more here.

  5. 5.

    Training and professional development

    TEU collective agreements making sure our members have access and funding to on-going training and professional development. We make sure our members have the chance to progress your careers in the direction you choose.

  6. 6.

    Reduce workload

    Many TEU collective agreements have workload restrictions such as timetabled teaching hours, and health and safety requirements that protect members from overly stressful workloads and ensure members can spend more time with their friends and family.

  7. 7.

    Protect public education

    TEU is one of the only large organisations specifically committed to lobbying and campaigning for a well-funded, well-resourced public tertiary education system.  We meet regularly with ministers and political parties as well as the ministry, the tertiary education commission and other major tertiary education stakeholders.

  8. 8.


    TEU is the only organisation that represents people in all sectors of tertiary education – universities, polytechnics, wānanga private training institutions, REAPs and OTEPS. We are also a democratic organisation that lets members vote on issues that affect them. We will not change your working conditions or pay without you voting on it first.

  9. 9.

    Professional and comprehensive

    The average individual collective agreement that individual workers negotiate is a couple of pages long. The average TEU collective employment agreement is about 50 pages long and comprehensively covers terms of appointment, salaries, progression, hours of work, meal breaks, leave provision, training and professional development, allowances expenses and grants, health and safety, organisational change and redundancy, union rights and employment relationship problem-solving processes. More importantly our agreements are supported by professional experienced staff who advocate your rights on your behalf.

Top recent achievements

1. Salaries above inflation for last 15 years

Year-in-year-out TEU succeeds at negotiating pay rises better than inflation.

If you were to take the lowest pay increase that TEU negotiated for each of the last 15 years, the increase in pay would be four percent more than inflation. If you were to take the highest pay increase that TEU negotiated for each of those 15 years the increase in pay would be 38 percent more than inflation. No matter where you worked if you were with TEU you are better off than you would have been, even after adjusting for inflation.

2. We win court cases, but only when we need to

TEU offers hundreds of members confidential professional advice on their workplace rights. We settle most disputes quickly and quietly.

No 90-day rules

When the government introduced its “no employment rights for 90 days” laws last year TEU successfully prevented those laws being implemented at a large number of tertiary institution campuses, including Massey University and Victoria University.