Stand up, take action, get involved.

By Te Pou Ahurei | National Secretary Dr Sandra Grey

Being part of a union creates a sense of belonging and certainty. We all need some certainty, especially in uncertain times.

The election of a new government with an extremely different vision of what Aotearoa should be like creates uncertainty. That uncertainty comes out of the government’s decision to cut ‘back room’ roles from the public sector, their revision of everything from taxation to Te Pūkenga without a clear signal of what will come next, their silence on what all the changes in direction mean for universities, wānanga, and other tertiary education providers, and coalition partners’ attacks on Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

But the uncertainly in the tertiary education sector is also caused by senior leaders – VCs, CEs, and other senior managers – who at times seem to have let go of the rudder and left our sector directionless.

What certainty can being part of the TEU offer members?

Collective agreements covering around 10,000 people and ensuring stability in their working lives; strong membership that has grown significantly in the last couple of years; a sound financial position; and, staunch delegates and activists at every tertiary education campus backed by committed union staff who are experts in employment relations and organising.

We have a clear set of values that we take action on – looking after people and our planet; ensuring equity; ensuring we have strong Tiriti relationships; wanting good work and workplaces where all workers have a say. These values set a clear path for the union membership and are the foundation for all the work we will do.

Unlike the coalition government and institutional managers, we have clear goals of what members want to achieve which set out in new Rules passed by conference last year. To ensure this vision is heard by political and institutional leaders we need more people standing up and taking delegate roles – so get involved and ask your colleagues to join up!

Tātou, tatou e.