A Welcome From the president

Ngā mihi manahau o te tau hou Pākehā ki a tātou katoa!

2020 promises to be an especially dynamic year for our union. We will be building on the work we did last year on the Government’s Tertiary Education Strategy, on the review of PBRF, academic freedom and free speech, our Pay Well, Pay Fairly campaign for allied and general staff, the Secure Work = Better Futures campaign will roll out in more places, and the huge transformation underway in the polytechnic sector.

2020 is also the year in which we get our union growing in its membership numbers and we re-elect a progressive government that will continue to support our values in tertiary education. In all of this, we will be working within our Te Koeke Tiriti framework and striving to set an example as a Tiriti-led organisation.

The recently released Tertiary Education Strategy represents a sea change in the overall objectives for the sector, a sea change led by you all. Strategies under former Minister Steven Joyce focussed on labour market productivity and economic growth. The new strategy is about the need for social transformation, for fairness, inclusion and accessibility, with education as a public good that can respond to those needs. In this way tertiary education – as part of a larger, fully integrated, cradle-to- grave education strategy – helps provide the social basis on which we can meet the economic and environmental challenges of the future.

It was your voice for publicly funded, accessible, quality education – shared in meetings with the Minister and government officials, in public petitions and campaigns, in submissions to parliament and the Productivity Commission inquiry into our sector – that has driven these changes.

Equally, the Reform of Vocational Education – aimed at producing a world leading vocational education system – reflects a great deal of the campaigning we have done in the past. We must keep looking ahead, driving up our values and ideas at every level, from the workplace upward.

Take, for example, from the Charter of the new national polytechnic (RoVE Amendment Bill, Schedule 22): NZIST must operate in a way that allows it to … empower students and staff on academic, non-academic, and well-being matters and matters relating to the organisation’s practices and services. Other elements of the charter describe the framework in which this empowering must take place: inclusivity and equity as core principles; Māori-crown partnerships to be reflected in multiple respects; equitable access to learning opportunities for learners across all regions – and so on. If every one of us, as members, undertakes some level of activism then we can make the most of opportunities like this.

We will reflect at greater length on some of the other goals we have as a union in 2020 in subsequent Tertiary Updates. But here I also want to signal, from the outset, that 2020 must be the year in which, we grow our membership. This is a time where people are realising again the benefits of union membership both collectively and individually

With a little effort from every member, 2020 will be the year in which we grow stronger by growing larger. And our voice will be even stronger.

Kia ora, kia kaha.

Also in this update:

  1. Where are we headed in 2020
  2. Strong Tiriti relationships for 2020 and beyond
  3. We are the voice of the sector
  4. Pay and conditions that reflect how much energy staff put in
  5. Fostering collegial, inclusive, and equitable workplaces

Other news

BBC facing huge bill for equal pay cases after Samira Ahmed verdict – The Guardian

Women researchers earn $400k less than men over a lifetime - RNZ

NZIST newsletter – IST Establishment