Day of action yields political commitments.

Hundreds of TEU members from NorthTec in the far north to SIT in the deep south attended paid union meetings on all major campuses last Thursday week. The meetings were called to talk tertiary education funding with politicians both current and aspiring and encourage Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union members to vote for tertiary education at this year’s general election.

Members of Parliament and candidates who attended were asked to sign a pledge that committed them to support a strong tertiary education sector and work within their parties to achieve:

  • Increases to education funding that will bring our expenditure per EFTS up to the OECD average over the next six years.
  • A mandated staff voice in decisions that affect the future of the tertiary sector.
  • Funding increases that are fairly allocated to staff costs.

The pledge was signed by all Green MPs who attended, along with some from Labour including Minister of Education Jan Tinetti.

Tumu Whakarae | National President Dr Julie Douglas says “although we have not seen eye to eye with the current government at times over the past three years, we are delighted that the Minister elected to sign our pledge and make a commitment to fight for our sector in the next parliament. We also acknowledge the Greens, who have a long track record of being staunch allies and advocates over many years.”

“While a few National and ACT candidates did attend a limited selection of our paid union meetings, they are conspicuous by their absence when it comes to making any commitments to fund our sector properly or listen to the voice of staff.”

“I urge members to take this into account when they go to the polls.”