130 general and academic staff from community tertiary education providers,polytechnics, universities, and wānanga pledged to get their communitiestalking about the harm being done to staff and students by the currentrules in the tertiary education sector.The TEU members were responding to the release of the State of the Public Tertiary Education Sector Survey.The report is the third commissioned by the Tertiary Education Union. It highlights the symptoms of a tertiary education system increasingly underpressure, and increasingly ill following years of mistreatment bysuccessive governments.The symptoms of illness revealed by the survey include a decline in studentsupport services, increased pressures on staff to admit students intocourses and elevate grades to ensure they pass, and a decline in wellbeingas staff deal with increased workload and work/life conflict.Co-authors Sarah Proctor-Thomson and Charles Sedgwick spoke to the TEUannual conference about the findings of the research, which was released on May 1.The survey of tutors, librarians, lecturers, technicians, administrators,researchers, and all working in our tertiary education sector shows highworkloads, constrained staff voice, and declining wellbeing. The reportalso shows decreasing student support services in some areas and thedifficulties general staff face when it comes to pay and progression.“Together we must turn this around,” says TEU’s national industrialofficer, Irena Brorens.“The TEU is sending out an SOS. And we need your help to get the researchdiscussed and to find ways forward.”Change starts with critical conversations. That’s why the TEU is calling onall those who value public tertiary education to make a pledge in supportof those working and studying in the tertiary education sector. Email [email protected]to make your pledge and the TEU will send you copies of the State of the Public Tertiary Education Sector.A crucial finding of the report was the lack of genuine consultation andengagement of staff across the sector.Michael Gilchrist, TEU National President, says “being ignored is a commonstate in our tertiary education sector. The research shows that over 80% ofstaff surveyed on the state of the public tertiary education sector feltthey are excluded from having influence at the level of council, inrestructuring, and at the level of institutional change.”“This feeling of exclusion from decision-making pushes staff into takingactions. An example is Whitireia and Weltec where they had to start a petition to try and get a say in what’s going on.”