Te Pou Ahurei | National Secretary’s Welcome.

By Sandra Grey

I’m not much into New Year’s resolutions and joke every year to give up bad habits that I don’t even have (and to keep the ones I do).

But there’s a resolution that I want us all to make this year – to stand together for better pay across the tertiary education sector.

For the last couple of years, we’ve won pay rises for TEU members, but they’ve been insufficient to keep up with the cost of living.

Why? Inadequate government funding, the loss of international students because of COVID-19, and the insatiable management drive to do more with less has held back pay. Over and over the TEU membership has accepted low pay rises to ensure that students get what they need. In doing so, we’ve worn the cost of the COVID-19 response and ill-conceived ideas about running education as a market.

We’ve watched and supported others who provide essential public services fought and won decent pay rises for the teachers and nurses – ngā mihi to our sister unions NZEI, PPTA, and NZNO.

TEU members are the ones training those teachers and nurses, but whose pay has only shifted by 1 to 2 per cent, and yet all the bills we pay have gone up in the last quarter by 5 per cent.

Note what I’ve said is the teachers and nurses fought and won pay rises. Their pay did not go up because of largess from a government. No employer, not even a government, willingly hands over decent pay rises out of the goodness of their heart.

Workers have to stand up and be counted; stand up and demand pay rises that reflect the work they put in.

So let 2022 be our year, the year where tertiary education staff get decent pay rises. The year when our work educating and training the workers of Aotearoa is recognised with decent pay rises.

It will be our year if we stand together. Sign up to be part of the action because together we can make this right!