Otago staff rally against cuts.

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union members will hold a paid union meeting on the University of Otago’s ‘Union Lawn’ at lunchtime today to stand in opposition to destructive cuts planned by their employer.

Tumu Whakarae | National President Julie Douglas, who will be in attendance, says the way universities are funded is causing “a national crisis. The cuts just keep coming and have been continuing for over a decade. Thousands of staff members across all eight universities have been impacted at one time or another. But the stakes have never been higher than they are right now.”

“Aotearoa needs a highly skilled workforce to meet the significant challenges we face as a country, and we can’t do it without a strong tertiary education sector, which in turn can’t do it without a strong workforce of its own.”

“Over the past fifteen years, while university income and expenditure have both grown, they have not kept pace with inflation and the slowest growth in spending has been on staff.”

Research carried out by BERL on behalf of TEU last year showed that the funding put into staffing has fallen considerably as a percentage of total spending by universities. This means universities are choosing to direct more and more of their money away from staff, and into things like new buildings.”

“With every round of cuts, more and more good people walk away to industries and other countries that value them properly. The result of all this is that we are now having to stand up and really fight harder than ever before for the future of tertiary education.”