It’s the time of year when many of us are looking forward to a paid break from work. But that’s not the case for many people employed on casual, fixed-term, or hourly paid appointments for whom the summer break is a time without pay and full of insecurity.
Insecure work impacts on the wellbeing of working people, on their ability to plan for the future, their work-life balance, and their ability to provide for their families. Insecurity can also be an isolating experience for those worrying about their future, and unsure of the best way to progress in their career when the future seems so uncertain.
The issues faced by those in insecure employment are deep as the Tertiary Update special on the campaign for Secure Work earlier in the year showed.
Unfortunately, too many staff in our universities, wānanga and ITPs are unaware of their rights, or don’t feel they can raise issues of insecurity with their employer.
Workshops are an important means of ensuring tertiary education staff know their rights, know they are not alone, and that awareness is raised concerning the impact of insecure work on the wellbeing of working people and their families.
At both Te Kunenga Ki Pūrehuroa – Massey University and Te Whare Wānanga o Otago - Otago University, TEU teams have been taking action this year to push for Secure Work = Better Futures.
The campaign’s 2020 relaunch will begin in February at Otago University, where the team will be partnering with the AUT branch in making the campaign national.
Phil Edwards has been pleased with the interest shown at the Otago branch, with staff eager to learn more and take action for secure work, but says the real strength of the campaign will be gaining interest from staff and TEU members at the national level,
“It’s been great to have TEU members and staff here at Otago getting involved and contacting us as a result of our campaigning. But we know this is an issue that affects staff in our tertiary education institutions up and down the country. We’re asking TEU members to talk to their colleages about the impact of insecure work. It’s only by working in union that we can ensure that every working person knows their rights and is confident and able to act on them”.
For more on insecure work in New Zealand’s tertiary education sector visit here.