On 21 September TEU relaunched the secure work campaign at Te Whare Wānanga o Otago | University of Otago, Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau | Auckland University of Technology and Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka | Unitec Institute of Technology.

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 whānau. 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. As such, the impact of moving onto a permanent agreement is life-changing.

It’s only by working collectively that can we can make a change. Working people who have jobs without a secure future don’t have to go it alone.

The campaign aims to raise awareness across the sector of the importance of security, and to see that staff in fixed-term, casual and hourly positions are moved into permanent roles. A key action within the campaign encourages TEU members and staff to engage in conversations with colleagues who may be on fixed-term, casual or hourly appointments, and encourage them to speak with their TEU branch representatives. According to TEU University of Otago branch organiser Phil Edwards,

“When we raised this issue of staff on casual, fixed-term and hourly appointments directly with the employer, there was recognition at the highest level that that was not a good way for the insitution to operate. As a result of our campaign, more people have been moved into permanent positions, but there is more work to be done to see these improvements across the sector”. Edwards continued,

“We know the work these staff do is vital to the running of our tertiary education institutions, but often times their colleagues are not aware of the precarious nature of their work. The secure work campaign is about asking our members to engage with their colleagues and speak out on their behalf, to call out these damaging employment practices, and stand in solidarity with their colleagues for greater stability and security that benefits everyone”.

For TEU National Industrial Officer Irena Brorens, there are positive signs the campaign is seeing much needed change in the sector,

“Over the last twelve months more than 40 TEU members have had their fixed-term appointments converted to permanent work and we are sure this number is growing with the strength of this campaign”.

Check out the experiences and insights on secure work from TEU members John, Neil and Sonja, and share your experience with TEU here.

Read last year’s Tertiary Update: Secure Work edition here.