Council Report.

The national Council of Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union came together, for the first time under our new co-governance structure, at Unitec's Te Noho Kotahitanga Marae in Tāmaki Makaurau a fortnight ago.

Tumu Whakarae Māori | National President Māori Hūhana Wātene and Tumu Whakarae Tiriti | National President Tiriti Dr Julie Douglas say the meeting was a success.

“Like any first meeting of a new body, there was a lot of bonding, getting to know each other and orientation as new council members came to grips with their roles and duties under the new constitution. But there were also some important substantive decisions.”

“Council discussed the latest State of the Sector research at length, and debated an action plan to address the impacts of sustained institutional racism and discrimination across Aotearoa New Zealand’s tertiary education sector that the study draws attention to.”

Another significant decision made at Council was a commitment to form a reference group on precarious work.

Under 35 Tāngata Tiriti representative on Council, Dr Zoë Port, says “we know that precarious work is a huge issue in the tertiary environment, not just for our younger members, both in Aotearoa and overseas. We see the likes of casual and fixed term arrangements overused far too often, and they are exploited for the means of cheap labour for the employers.”

“This reference group is the next in a series of steps we’ve been taking to address the problem. It’s a way for us to elevate the voices of precarious workers, a way for them to have a say and have their voices heard.”

“Precarious workers often don’t feel well served by their unions so this is an important step that will help us decide together what meaningful change we can work towards; and I hope it will add a precarious worker lens to all the work of the union.”

There will be a call for expressions of interest soon.

TEU Council next meets in July. Stay tuned for further updates.