Low paid workers the winners as three universities settle.

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union members at three of Aotearoa’s eight universities have voted to ratify new collective agreements that deliver real gains for many lower paid workers.

Months of negotiating and campaigning by thousands of union members at Te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou | University of Otago, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury and Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University of Wellington paid off with significantly better outcomes than those initially proposed by employers.

TEU Kaiwhakahaere | Organiser at University of Canterbury Gabrielle Moore says “for some general (non-academic) staff at Canterbury we have delivered pay increases between 10.1% and 17.9% over the term of the agreement.”

However, as Te Pou Ahurei | National Secretary Sandra Grey is quick to point out, these outcomes do not signal that the pressure is now off Vice Chancellors or the government.

“These deals have delivered some positive outcomes and 7,000 of our members at the eight universities deserve all the credit for that because this wouldn’t have been possible without the brave stand they have and are continuing to make. However these settlements still leave most academic staff at Otago, Victoria, and Canterbury universities behind what they deserve and there are still five universities that have not reached settlements.”

“Strike action is ongoing at University of Auckland and for them, along with Massey University, Waikato University, Lincoln University, and AUT, negotiations are likely to continue into the new year with the possibility further strikes remaining firmly on the table.”

“As I said last week, the wide variation in offers to different groups of union members at different universities continues to illustrate why we urgently need tripartite talks between the university Vice Chancellors, the government, and TEU to address the issue of staff pay in the sector with a national approach. And why we will continue to stand together, work together, and make decisions collectively.”

Media contact
Enzo Giordani
+64 21 221 4910