The election of a new Industrial and Professional Vice-President will take place following a ballot opening Thursday 1 October 2020. This week’s Tertiary Update profiles the two candidates.

Dr Julie Douglas

Dr Douglas is the current Vice-President of the Industrial and Professional Committee, is a Senior Lecturer in Employment Relations at Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau | Auckland University of Technology (AUT) where she also teaches diversity, and has previously taught the compulsory ethics paper.

Julie has been a union member since leaving high school, and was a member of the Association of Staff in Tertiary Education (ASTE) before the amalgamaton with TEU, and has been the AUT branch Vice-President for 14 years, an AUT Council member, and a leading member of TEU’s Te Kahukura | Rainbow Network. You can read Julie Douglas’ candidate profile here.

Julie says she is running for Industrial and Professional Vice-President as she has a long standing interest and experience in employment relations, and the strategic direction of TEU, which she hopes to continue in a leadership role,

“My involvement with the Industrial and Professional Committee over the last couple of years has been a wonderful opportunity to actually move into that more strategic level, which I thoroughly enjoy, and where I feel most stimulated and energised. Standing for Industrial and Professional Vice-President provides me with the opportunity to play a lead in guiding that strategic direction, which is so vital to what we as a union do”, Julie continued,

“I have so much admiration for the team that we have working with us at TEU, that allows us to have such a strong union, and I hope to be a bridge between members and the union organisation itself”.

For Julie, her strengths lie in her knowledge and experience of employment relations and unionism,

“I have a long standing interest in employment relations, particulary unionism. I’ve spent my working life trying to get young people to appreciate the importance of unions and collectivism, to understand the strength we have in numbers, both at a theoretical level, but also within daily life through my participation and dedication to TEU.

I will bring to the position knowledge of employment law, and an understanding of the totality of the sector as an academic, and someone well versed in both the ITP and university sectors. I’m also committed to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and am proud of TEU’s bi-cultural approach and the development of Te Koeke Tiriti”.

If elected, Julie hopes to be a strong voice in representing TEU members in the development of our union’s core National Industrial Strategy,

“One of the biggest matters on our agenda is the development of our strategic direction through our National Industrial Strategy, which is crucial to creating connections between our branches and members, lifting everyone up and ensuring no one is left behind. It provides strength when conditions are challenged, holds us together, and lets us speak with one voice. As Industrial and Professional Vice-President, I’ll ensure that in the development of our strategy, there is a place for everyone to work effectively, share ideas, that fosters participation from our members, while providing my own informed input and ability to represent our interests in discussions with TEU Council and our Te Tumu Whakarae | National President”.

Grant Bush

Grant is an Infrastructure Architect in the Information Technology Services department at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | The University of Canterbury. Grant has worked in the tertiary education sector for over 30 years, and was a member of the Technicians union, and the Association of University Staff of New Zealand (AUS), before the amalgamation with TEU.

During his time working in the tertiary education sector, Grant has worked on a number of local and national committees with AUS, has served on the TEU University of Canterbury branch committee, the TEU Industrial and Professional Committee, and more recently the TEU Council. You can read Grant’s candidate profile here.

Grant says he is running for Industrial and Professional Vice-President because he is passionate about supporting and improving the lives of working people,

“Being a part of TEU, in my capacity as an Industrial and Professional Committee member, and on the TEU Council, I’ve been able to contribute to the work our union undertakes, which I view as so vital to the improvement of our workplaces, the sector, and society. In my role as Industrial and Professional Vice-President, I hope to continue this work from a leadership position at a time when working people in our sector face a host of increased risks”.

For Grant, his strengths stem from his experience to date, his passion for helping others, and deep respect for the union movement,

“I’ve been working on industrial and professional issues for a long time now, in several roles, first with AUS, then with TEU. I have experience with negotiations at the branch level, so I know the challenges and opportunities of dealing directly with employers, but also with colleagues at a national level. My leadership style is collaborative, it’s important to me to work with people and I also like to get things done”, Grant continued,

“I have a passion for people, for our union, and for the rights of working people. I am a strong advocate for those in insecure and casualised work, and I intend on bringing that passion to the role of Vice-President”.

If elected, Grant hopes to be a strong voice for TEU members on industrial and professional issues at a time when there is a real prevalence of risk for working people across the sector,

“Together we need to fight against the heightened insecurity facing both academic and general staff. For too long now, our tertiary education institutions have been the backwater of industrial relations, and the current crisis has only served to make the issues more pronounced. Our sector should be, and needs to be, at the forefront of what a good industrial relationship looks like. We need to lead the way. As Industrial and Professional Vice-President, I’ll work with TEU members to ensure what’s good for business is also good for people”.