Tertiary Update: Top ten stories of 2019.
Dec. 12, 2019
2019 has been a massive year for TEU and has seen significant changes to tertiary education in Aotearoa. We’ve worked hard this past year to keep our members informed of what’s been happening across the sector, and to gain input from members on the issues that matter the most to you.
TEU would like to thank all our members who have contributed their insight and experiences to Hau Taki Haere |Tertiary Update over the past year.
We’ve taken a look at the most-viewed Tertiary Update stories of 2019 – the stories you have most read and shared with colleagues. They offer important insight into some of the most significant issues and changes we as union members and educators face, and the conversations we must continue to lead and be a part of.
Throughout the last decade, TEU has been working to change the way tertiary education has been viewed. In this story, we took an early look at the Government’s long-term strategic direction for tertiary education and introduced the TEU discussion paper on the Tertiary Education Strategy that members and the Government used to facilitate conversations and decision-making around the direction of tertiary education in Aotearoa.
We covered New Zealand’s minimum wage increase and the 2019 Living Wage rate. The TEU continues to call for tertiary education institutions to provide a Living Wage for all its staff, and has been negotiating collectively at a number of institutions on behalf of both directly employed and contracted workers, particularly lower paid general staff.
We looked at a rise in reported cheating incidents at the University of Auckland widely covered by news media. TEU offered to work with Universities New Zealand to draw on the experience and expertise of members in efforts to counter cheating and met with Universities New Zealand – the body representing all vice- chancellors in Aotearoa – to discuss the issue.
The Reform of Vocational Education signalled the most significant change to tertiary education in New Zealand in recent years, providing a once in a life time opportunity to right the wrongs made over more than a decade of uncertainty, underfunding and divisive policies. Here, we discuss those factors our members have told us will be crucial to the reforms and emphasise the importance of the union’s role in shaping the new system.
We introduced our campaign to ensure secure work and better futures for thousands of working people in New Zealand’s tertiary education sector who are on fixed-term, casual and hourly agreements in universities, wānanga and ITPs.
The campaign’s 2020 relaunch will begin in February at Otago University, where the team will be partnering with the AUT branch in making the campaign national.
Te Tumu Whakarae-National President Michael Gilchrist addressed the damaging scaremongering and grandstanding by those determined to undermine those in the sector excited by the prospect of positive change through the Reform of Vocational Education.
In this special Tertiary Update we examined what Budget 2019 means for those working and studying in tertiary education; and at some of the key issues affecting members’ lives. We included expert contributions from TEU members covering key issues including Māori and Pasifika aspirations, mental health, sexual and family violence, building a sustainable economy, and the overall economic direction of the country.
Louise Simpson, Wintec branch president and Beauty Therapy Tutor discussed strike action at Wintec and the support the branch has received from both staff and students from around the country.
The Wintec team took very successful strike action and won, and we are seeing other branches in collective negotiations stepping up now.
As part of our special edition introducing our Secure work = Better Futures campaign, Dr Kevin Veale, lecturer in the School of English and Media Studies at Massey University discussed the impact of insecure work on his ability to plan, on career progression, and what the tertiary education sector gains from worker security.
We looked more closely at what staff at Wintec were asking for from their employer – a 3 percent pay rise that reflects a fair return on their work. Wintec staff stepped up together because they know that collectively we can make a difference and that all working people deserve a fair return on their work.