Stuart McCutcheon’s axe falls on teacher trainingStuart McCutcheon’s axe has fallen on the University of Auckland’sFaculty of Education and Social Work after 21 staff were told this weekthat their jobs are on the line. Echoing through the Beehive,McCutcheon’s axing of each and every job will make it harder forJacinda Ardern to fulfil her commitment to end the chronic teachershortage we face.Early in July , Stuart McCutcheon confirmed that he wanted to cut 22.4full-time equivalent jobs from the university’s Faculty of Education andSocial Work. After months of uncertainty about their future, those set tolose their jobs were told the news in one-on-one meetings throughout thisweek.. They now have four weeks to provide feedback on the decision. Thetiming of the decision is inexplicable given that a lack of teachers is oneof the most pressing challenges New Zealand faces. For future generationsto fulfil their potential - whether as a social worker, nurse, teacher,business owner — they need a great education. We succeed as a nation onlywhen we invest in our teachers and their communities. The starting pointfor that is making sure we are doing everything we can to train theteachers, social workers and counsellors we need. Stuart McCutcheon needsto take responsibility for what he has done to make it harder for thisGovernment to address the chronic shortage of teachers and counsellors weface.Thousands of people in towns and cities all across New Zealand rightly cametogether last Wednesday to call on the Education Minister Chris Hipkins toincrease the number of teachers. Because of years of underfunding by thelast National-led Government, our education system is also falling shortwhen it comes to ensuring teachers’ pay and conditions reflect theremarkable difference they make to Kiwi kids’ lives. Every teacher, everychild, every parent, uncle, aunty, grandparent and friend that came out onWednesday to show their support for our incredible teachers proved just howmuch our public education system matters to New Zealanders.Nanette Cormack, Deputy Secretary of the Tertiary Education Union (TEU),said:“Rebuilding the tertiary education sector after years of neglect underNational starts with our youngest learners. Kids need feel they areready to go on to do further study, and a positive school experience isa crucial part of that. Making sure we have enough teachers to inspireour kids to pursue a life of learning, and that the education systemvalues these people for what they do, is one of the best things we cando with the money we all pool together through taxes. That’s one of thereasons why it is so infuriating to see Stuart McCutcheon cutting thejobs of the very people we need to train the teachers of the future.“We all agree to contribute to the future of our public educationsystem because it’s the right thing to. Why can’t Stuart McCutcheon dothe same? It’s time he stood up and said he will do what he can to helpus address the teacher shortage – for the good of all of us. TheUniversity of Auckland recently posted a budget surplus of nearly $70million, so we know he can do it. .”


For more information· Nanette Cormack, 021 221 6324· Jane Kostanich, organiser of the TEU branch at the University ofAuckland, 021 390 835· Sandra Grey, national president of the TEU, 021 844 176