A landmark day for tertiary education.

Hau Taki Haere | Tertiary Update Vol 26, No 19

Last Thursday was arguably the biggest day in the history of Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union as thousands of members downed tools to participate in strikes at all eight of Aotearoa’s universities. The last such widespread strike action in the tertiary sector occurred several years before the TEU was formed in 2009.

Harvey Jones, a TEU branch activist at Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa | Massey University well remembers the last time all eight universities went on strike almost 20 years ago. He says the biggest difference in 2022 has been the readiness and willingness of members to strike so early in the campaign.

“There was a lot more reluctance last time, we had to build people up to strike action a lot more slowly. But this time our members are much more active and fired up. After three years of holding things together through COVID, of sacrificing our wellbeing for our students and for our institutions, we’re not going to put up with it anymore.”

Te Pou Ahurei | National Secretary Sandra Grey says, “massive congratulations are due to the members of our union who were seen and heard loud and clear in every corner of Aotearoa on Thursday.”

“This dispute is about a pay increase that keeps up with the rising cost of living, but it’s also about university senior managers not valuing people. Up and down the country, those people are taking to the streets and saying we won’t be taken for granted – ‘you must value us.’ Ignore them at your peril, vice chancellors.”

“Members will be considering more action if no real progress is made in negotiations. They are aware that taking one day’s action may not be enough to convince their employers.”

Also in this update:

Other stories:

As it happened: 7000 university staff walk out in nationwide strike for pay – Stuff

University staff strike nationwide in response to pay offer – One News

Thousands of university staff walk off the job for better pay in first coordinated strike action in 20 years – Newshub

Striking university staff across Aotearoa protest pay offer – RNZ