Te Pūkenga members join #WhatSocietyThinksIDo.

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union’s polytechnic members are joining the TEU’s #WhatSocietyThinksIDo campaign. As inflation continues to bite, several Te Pūkenga subsidiaries are currently in the process of seeking to renew their collective agreements with more due to commence negotiations in the coming weeks and months.

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union Te Pou Ahurei Takirua – Ahumahi | Assistant National Secretary – Industrial, Irena Brörens, says “as we have already highlighted with the university sector, the public doesn’t necessarily see or appreciate the incredibly hard work our members put in every day. But in the polytechnic sector, the situation is increasingly troubling as we see pay rates slip even further behind – especially when compared to the industries our members are training ākonga | students to join.”

As Bruce Delaney, a Joinery Apprentice Lecturer at Wintec, points out in his #WhatSocietyThinksIDo video, “the risk now is losing staff” because the pay for teaching has not kept up with the industries staff have come from. “We’ll have trouble employing people back into teaching from the trades because the trades are paying a lot better now than they ever have.”

Loma-Linda Tasi a Senior Nurse Lecturer at Whitireia adds “I don’t know whether people perceive [teaching as] an easy role, but the reality is to be able to learn and apply the knowledge, it does need to come from people who are experienced in the field.”

And as Darcell Apelu, a Bachelor of Creative Industries Lecturer at Toi Ohomai, points out “the perception of teaching is you’re only in front of a classroom from nine until three. It’s all the other work that surrounds that – the marking, the pastoral support, for me it’s really important to have the appropriate resources for all of my classes and making sure I’m giving as much as I can to students.”

According to Irena Brörens, “we urgently need to address the pay rates across the Te Pūkenga network or we will see more great staff leave for better paying work. TEU is claiming 9% pay increases in the subsidiaries we are currently negotiating with. We are also looking for pay parity across the 16 subsidiaries to apply in 2023. The government and Te Pukenga management need to listen very carefully to what our members are asking for and ensure that this is factored into budget planning.”

You can watch Darcell, Loma-Linda and Bruce, along with four of our university members, talk about what they actually do here.