100% of Te Pūkenga workforce add value to Aotearoa.

Te Amorangi Mātauranga Matua | The Tertiary Education Commission has released its ‘Te Pūkenga quarterly monitoring report – March 2023 quarter’.

The report is not dissimilar in tone from a previous one we commented on this time last year, but while many of the same criticisms we had then still apply, Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union takes particular issue with paragraph 42 in the latest report.

It states: “Fundamentally, the labour model needs to change, given around 80 percent of Te Pūkenga’s workforce is on the provider-based side and that is the area that is highly unprofitable due to funding rate changes and continued declines in domestic provider-based enrolments over the past ten years.”

Kaiwhakahaere | Organiser Daniel Benson-Guiu says “it’s sad to see yet another example of back to front thinking from TEC, who seem to be suggesting that 80% of staff, who let’s be clear are the people who deliver the ‘product’ that Te Pūkenga exists to provide – quality, professional, vocational education – are a drain on the organisation and need their employment rights stripped away.”

“Our members are in the ‘business’ of changing people’s lives, building communities and upskilling people so they can move into long-term fulfilling careers. The TEC's bean counting approach does not measure these significant benefits of tertiary education."

“It’s also interesting to see the TEC partly blame funding rate changes for Te Pūkenga’s financial position. They are the funder, they changed the funding rates. As far as we can see, this is a TEC problem and not a Te Pūkenga problem. It is certainly not something our members should have to face the consequences of.”

“However, if they do in fact finally recognise that their own funding model is broken and in need of an overhaul so as to ensure the long-term sustainability of a vitally important part of the sector then we look forward to their positive participation in the government’s upcoming funding review.”