Hau Taki Haere | Tertiary Update Vol 25, No 4

Working together gets results. And Te Hautu Kahurangi | TEU’s work with Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa on pay and employment equity is paying dividends.

Massey’s Pay and Employment Equity Committee (PaEE) - a joint venture between the university and TEU - continues to work towards implementing the recommendations of a 2009 review to progress towards achieving equitable pay and conditions for women staff at Massey. And together with the continued efforts of the TEU branch committee and Te Uepū Māori, Massey’s Te Kāhui Pou Mātauranga is also finding success in ensuring the work of Māori academics is recognised and valued in academic promotions.

Te Kāhui Pou Mātauranga was convened last year and is led by Massey Māori Professoriate. The kōmiti supports Māori academics in the promotions process through recommendations and by highlighting areas of critical impact for Māori research and scholarship. With the help of Te Kāhui Pou Mātauranga all Māori academic applicants during the last round were successful in gaining promotion.

Sheeanda McKeagg - TEU Massey co-branch chair, Te Uepū Māori member and Kaihautū Māori of Massey Library - was instrumental in early conversations with Massey leadership around the need for a new process to highlight Māori research and inform Māori academic promotions. According to McKeagg the kōmiti has been invaluable in translating scholarly impact that cannot always be quantified,

‘We had a Te Uepū Māori member who was going through their third round of seeking promotion, and was getting disheartened because their longitudinal work, research with whānau, hapū, and iwi wasn’t being recognised. It was being undervalued compared to publications in high impact and international journals’. McKeagg continued,

‘You can’t ‘count’ the value and impact of manaakitanga, of whanaungatanga, the building and maintaining of relationships, or the inroads a Māori academic has made connecting with hapori. But Te Kāhui Pou Mātauranga provide a Māori pathway to support Māori academic staff applying for academic promotion’.

There is still plenty of work needed to ensure equity within our tertiary education institutions, but McKeagg and TEU organiser Heather Warren, also a member of Massey’s PaEE committee, say the work at Massey has been one of the more engaging and positive experiences between TEU and the employer, with a commitment to equity that TEU hopes to see extended across the sector. According to Warren,

‘The new process has been really effective and successful, and a positive experience from the perspective of pay and employment equity, for both Massey and TEU. It’s testament to our members and Massey Te Uepū Māori who have been consistent in voicing their concerns to senior leadership, calling for more to be done to improve equity, and to ensure there is a better process in place for Māori. It’s also a fantastic example of the union and employer working together toward a shared goal. Our members made their voice heard, and Massey has listened and are continuing to work toward improving equity’.

Also in this update:

·      Hui-ā-Rohe2021 rescheduled

·      Workforce Development Councils and concerns over academic freedom 

·      Call for Papers: TEU Academic Freedom Conference 2021

·      Find out more about your union health insurance provider

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