Te Pūkenga submission gives voice to member frustration.

Hau Taki Haere | Tertiary Update Vol 27, No 14

By Dan Benson-Guiu

Over five weeks we rallied, gathered in union, shared information and collected feedback on the largest change proposal the TEU has seen to change the outcome of the “Te Pūkenga Tāraia Te Anamata | Creating our Futures” change proposal. Te Pūkenga announced on June 15th that over 400 jobs would be impacted by not being retained in the new structure across the network with 600 more roles affected but mapped into the structure through potential redeployment opportunities. Te Pūkenga claims 556 new national and regional jobs will be created as a result of the proposal. As Te Pūkenga opened consultation on the new structure of the organisation, bringing together different ways of working across 24 divisions, we heard how this change affects all staff across Te Pūkenga.

The consultation took place when our members were facing high workloads marking exams and assessments for ākonga across the network, and right when Te Pūkenga kaimahi focus on signing up new ākonga to on-campus, on-line and on-job programmes. The proposal was also presented just before many of our members went on leave. There has been considerable cause for anxiety and frustration for TEU members who want to see a Vocational Education and Training sector that responds to the needs of ākonga, communities and industry all while empowering staff – as the Te Pūkenga Charter suggests.

As a Union, we showed that we can all come together when needed – ngā piki, ngā heke. The numbers below show there is power in union.

Our final submission threaded the member voices we heard through every aspect of the proposal. We brought together Academic and Allied/General Staff members at on-campus institutions, on-line members from Open Polytechnic, SIT2LRN and elsewhere in the network, on-job members in the divisions of BCITO, Primary, Competenz and Service IQ. The TEU is the umbrella for all staff across the network – and members have joined as a result. You put up posters, connected with members beyond your division and joined in for the TEU’s National Lunch break on the 20th of June.

We hosted 22 campus meetings, 343 members responded to our survey with detailed feedback in the first week of it being live, and we held countless meetings online with groups of members on how the proposal affected specific areas of work. Our branch presidents and TEU-Te Pūkenga Liaison Officers converted feedback into suggestions and counter-proposals.

While we wait for the decision, we’re continuing to follow up on issues that have arisen and continue to arise with this proposal and process.

Also in this update:

Other stories:

Massey staff angry as cuts pile up with no consultation – TEU

Skills shortages solved by collaboration not pork barrel politics – TEU

Massey policy changes would diminish the university – TEU

Universities' proposed language cuts threaten New Zealand's interests, academics warn – RNZ