No help for tertiary education in the coalition agreements.

Hau Taki Haere | Tertiary Update Vol 27, No 20

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union sees nothing in the coalition agreements that will help tertiary education improve delivery for businesses, communities, or learners. Tumu Whakarae | National President Dr Julie Douglas says “we have a big job ahead of ourselves to convince the incoming government to listen to staff and address the real needs of our sector.”

“One major concern is the tertiary education portfolio sitting outside cabinet, which flags us as an area of low priority from the outset, while National’s 100 day promise to begin disestablishing Te Pūkenga signals more upheaval for vocational education.”

“We see no sign of intent to address the biggest issue the sector faces – a broken funding model that is causing out of control workloads, loss of provision to learners, and significant job loss.”

Te Tumu Arataki | Māori Vice President Hūhana Wātene says “it’s especially disappointing to see the incoming government’s adoption of numerous extreme right wing ACT policies that undermine Te Tiriti, set race relations in Aotearoa back 30 years and undo a lot of good work that has been done by previous governments – including the last two National governments – in this area.”

“For tertiary education, the ACT analysis of “free speech” is unhelpful, and a dog whistle for attacks on Māori, women, and other marginalised groups. We already have academic freedom protected in law and we will continue to push hard to ensure it is strengthened and adhered to.”

Dr Douglas, also a Senior Lecturer of employment relations in the Faculty of Business at Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makaurau | Auckland University of Technology, says the new government’s attacks on workers are also a major step backwards for Aotearoa.

“Repealing Fair Pay Agreements; reinstating 90-day trials for all businesses; continuing to misclassify employees as contractors; stopping further work on social income insurance; cutting public sector funding; and repealing the Reserve Bank’s employment mandate will hurt low- and middle-income workers the most – threatening their job security and making it hard for them to grow their wages and salaries.”

TEU has prepared a briefing to the incoming Minister of Tertiary Education and Skills, National’s Penny Simmonds, which was sent to her office today. The briefing sets out the key actions for tertiary education that need to be applied across both short- and long-term timeframes and the rationale for these recommendations. The document focuses on the two major areas we believe must be addressed with some urgency – funding and academic freedom.

We need to work together to get sensible tertiary education policy. If you would like to be part of our campaign to stand up for tertiary education and show the new government where the real priorities in our sector are, send us an email and we’ll get you involved.

Also in this update:

Other stories:

The fight to save Massey sciences continues - TEU

Scientists hope to save Massey University jobs with alternative to cuts – Stuff

NZCTU presents Briefing for the Incoming Government – CTU

Coalition deals uncut: What ACT and NZ First each agreed with National – Stuff