Tea break yields tips.

Hundreds of tertiary staff came together in small groups up and down Aotearoa last Friday to ‘have a cuppa’ as part of TEU’s ongoing campaign to address out of control workloads.  Some of the stories shared by members were harrowing.

“I’m just surviving... for a class that used to be one hour, I now teach two one hour in-person classes and one online due to Covid requirements... we’ve stopped asking for more staff because we’ve been told no so often” one member said.

Another said "you give everything at work and when you come home there's nothing left for your family. Last Christmas I finished the year so shattered from work, I was in tears."

At Manukau Institute of Technology, Branch President Steve McCabe hosted a large online tea break that was solution focussed and produced an excellent, succinct plan for tackling the problem onsite. Its recommendations included:

Collect evidence – diarise your hours and tasks, for yourself and for TEU to use in discussions with management about both the individual and the collective problem.

Tell the employer what you need – be communicative, don’t give them an excuse of “we weren’t told”. Do it in writing and ask for specific remedies.

Follow up – don’t let them off the hook after one email. Keep your TEU organiser in the loop.

In closing, Steve McCabe told MIT members who attended his tea break “for those of you who want to do the best for your students, and don’t want to short-change your learners, remember—an exhausted lecturer is not a good lecturer. Your students deserve the best version of you, not a wiped-out, knackered, exhausted you. Everyone wins if your workload is manageable; everyone loses if it’s not.”

More actions in our campaign to bring workloads back under control are coming soon.