Two new members of the TEU were inducted as life members at the Annual Conference 2019 – Carol Soal, Ara Aoraki, and Sandra Grey, Victoria University of Wellington.The TEU also presented two awards of excellence to John Prince, AUT, and Anne Marie Brady, University of Canterbury.
Life Membership Award 2019 – Carol Soal
Carol Soal shares with previous recipients of the TEU Life Membership awardthe often-unenviable trait of putting work, the union movement, and theshared needs of her community over her own. In her time as a union leader,Carol has achieved a great deal for her region and on behalf of Aoraki andAra, much of which will be unknown to many union members.Carol joined the Association of Staff in Tertiary Education in March 2003on her first day working for Aoraki Polytechnic. She became co-branchpresident with Michael Armstrong in 2010 and later in 2014 became branchpresident for Aoraki. During this time, Carol’s voice was integral to theongoing concerns which were raised around the decision to merge Aoraki andCPIT.At the national level Carol has contributed greatly. Carol was a valuedteam member at frequent meetings in Wellington. She was a staunch activistfighting for the job security of members, and for the survival of theinstitution as an educational asset for the community.Carol held several national roles. She was general staff representative oncouncil on the ITP Sector group, as Vice-President General in 2012, and arepresentative on the Industrial and Professional Committee. Carol was alsoTEU representative on the Health and Safety committee for both Aoraki andAra and she played a key role in the remuneration project includingreassessing general staff salaries at Aoraki, and on the negotiating teamfor Aoraki and later Ara.Over this period, it should be noted, Carol never missed an opportunity tomarch, protest and demonstrate. She often helped organise events on herAoraki and then Ara campuses.“Carol achieved leadership at several levels with grace, anduncomplainingly shouldered the burden of the involved activist and leader.She lives the principles of unionism and fairness in all aspects of herwork”.(Michael Armstrong, Ara Institute of Canterbury)Carol had a sustained and unquestioned level of commitment and loyalty tothe cause and the union. She worked collaboratively, collectively and insolidarity. This was a strength of hers during her time in leadershiproles. Those who have worked alongside Carol know her as the ‘totalprofessional’, never getting nasty in situations which were often tense andconfrontational.Carol has always worked well with so many people, always making herselfavailable to members and always up for action. The number of actions thatCarol’s branch was involved in was very demanding at some points, and yetCarol was always there. She has always been keen to find ways and means toeffect change for the benefit of students, staff and the sector. Her adviceto members was always of the highest level.Carol is a mentor, a friend, and a rock to many. She is known by colleaguesto go out of her way in putting her own time into trying to help members,to achieve union goals, and regional success.Her confidence, her ability to communicate directly, her belief andunderstanding of the cause, her kindness and tact, all made it great to beworking with her. She brought people onboard with her, persuaded peoplesimply and directly, more through her example than any overt messaging. Shewas and continues to be a leader in the movement, and we honour her role inthe movement here today.
Life Membership Award 2019 – Sandra Grey
The TEU Life Membership award is reserved for TEU members who have servedthe union, both locally and nationally, across their careers and haveshaped the work that we do. There are few in New Zealand, much less ourunion, who do not know Sandra Grey and associate her with the TEU.Sandra joined AUS in 1999 while she was studying at the University ofAuckland, and again in 2003 after securing her first academic post atVictoria University of Wellington.On completing her PhD, Sandra began further developing her researchinterests in activism and citizen dissent. In 2008 she won a Marsden Grantto examine four decades of contentious political activity by the women’s,union, and anti-poverty movements of New Zealand. That same year Sandrabegan serving as the Women’s Vice-President and chaired the Status of WomenCommittee.Sandra served as TEU President from 2011-2013, and then as Vice-Presidentof the newly formed Industrial and Professional Committee (IPC). Thiscommittee had been an amalgamation of sorts of the sector groups that hadexisted under the original TEU structure; the University committee, the ITPcommittee, the Academic committee, the General Staff committee.It was Sandra, who, as President, reviewed the initial structures in 2011and presented a revised plan and structure to Conference in 2012. And itwas her job as VP of the IPC to establish the role of this new workinggroup and how it would advance the work of the membership and workalongside the other working groups of the Union.“Working with Sandra is challenging, exhilarating, exhausting - well, Idon’t need to tell union members about it. But we do it - we rise to whatshe wants from us - to the aspirations she sets for herself - because weknow that it’s beautiful up there. And look where we’ve come - look at whatwe’ve built”.(Cat Pause, TEU University Academic Representative)In 2015, Sandra stood for President again. After having directed the workon Te Kaupapa Whaioranga, and after being prompted by members across thecountry, she agreed to put her academic career on hold once again to takeher place at the helm of the TEU. Throughout those four years, Sandraalways kept the people at the centre of her work. He tangata, he tangata,he tangata. She especially kept those most vulnerable in her sights;reminding us often of her personal connections to young people who were notbeing served by our tertiary system and bringing to the fore for the restof New Zealand examples of the system letting us all down; students, staff,and citizens.As well as her keen research interest in social movement activism and civilsociety politics, since 2010 Sandra has been the spokesperson for theCampaign for MMP which fought successfully to win a referendum on theretention of mixed-member proportional representation as New Zealand’selectoral system.Sandra has always worked to make our union more inclusive and moredemocratic; she has encouraged member participation and engagement at everylevel and she has earned more Air New Zealand Airpoints than probablyanyone else in Wellington. She has travelled the country tirelessly forseveral years to make sure each branch felt they were an important part ofthe work that we do.Sandra’s political acumen and her ability to forge relationships across arange of spectrums has stood the TEU in good stead during her leadershipyears. It is this more than anything else that has marked her presidency asbeing forward thinking and risk taking. It has meant that the TEU today isquite different from its two predecessor unions and quite different fromthe fledgling TEU that began in 2009 it has become the union that we arecelebrating this year.Sandra is trusted and respected friend, colleague and mentor to more peoplethan could ever be listed here, but the union movement in general and theTEU in particular thank her.
Award of Excellence 2019 – John Prince
TEU recognises John Prince, AUT Senior Lecturer – Mechanical andProduction, with an Award of Excellence for Professional Integrity. Thisaward is given for his long commitment to the rights of workers, and indefence of the professional integrity of both engineering and the tertiaryeducation sector.John has been a branch member at AUT since 1992. He was the AUT BranchPresident for 10 years and is still very active on the branch committee.John has held several national roles in the union including being a memberof the industrial and professional committee and as a member of thenational council for several years where his contribution has beenextremely valued.John has been particularly effective in working on the IPC developing theunion’s industrial strategy. His knowledge of redundancy processes, salarymovements and assisting with defending core conditions and developingnational claims has been invaluable.His professional integrity also means that he is trusted by members acrossthe union. This has always stood him in good stead as a recruiter for theunion.He is an engineer, he is pragmatic, he is staunch- he is a union man. He ispassionate about the rights of workers and enjoys the dynamic ofchallenging the employer as required. It is this readiness to stand firm inthe face of both internal and external pressures that has made John such avalued and respected leader within the union movement, and colleague andfriend within the sector.Over the years John has been a mainstay of the negotiating team at AUT.More-often-than-not he produces graphs and data that puts the university’sown number boffins to shame. He is smart and strategic, having led severalsuccessful strike actions by gaining the support and commitment of themembers to stay strong.John has also been able to develop and maintain an excellent workingrelationship with the Vice-Chancellor of AUT. Many issues have been dealtwith in this way and shows the level of respect John holds at AUT in hisunion work.The Tertiary Education Union and AUT Branch Committee are pleased to awardthe Award of Excellence for professional integrity to John – a union man tothe marrow.
Award of Excellence 2019 – Anne-Marie Brady
Professor Anne-Marie Brady researches Chinese domestic and foreign politics and polar politics at the University of Canterbury. Professor Brady receives the TEU Award of Academic Freedom for her analysis of the politics of the People's Republic of China, her unwavering commitment to academic integrity and responsibility, and her commitment to the union movement.Professor Brady is well known for her political analysis of the politics ofthe Republic of China. As a TEU member, Professor Brady has also beenactive in furthering the interests of women and is the women’srepresentative on of the University of Canterbury branch committee.Her research work in recent years has unearthed material that has exposedefforts at political influence by the Chinese Communist Party through theirUnited Front organisation. The importance of Dr Brady’s research wasrecognised by former Vice Chancellor of the University of Canterbury, DrRod Carr, who upheld the values of Academic Freedom when the University wasunder significant pressure from compromised interests in New Zealand tocave in to Chinese pressure to censure Dr Brady.Subsequent events have led to the conclusion that underhand methods havebeen used to overtly pressure Professor Brady, including breaking into herfamily home, breaking into her university office and tampering with herfamily car. The burglaries were clearly targeted towards Professor Brady’sresearch activity as only her computers and data storage were stolen.This sort of illegal activity is clearly inimical to the values of a modernuniversity and are a direct attack on academic freedom by a foreign partythat seeks to impose its own interests and undermine not only the freedomswe take for granted in New Zealand, but also academic freedom, which is acornerstone of progress and a bulwark against tyranny.The TEU and the University of Canterbury branch committee is in fullsupport of Professor Brady and of academic freedom in Aotearoa New Zealand.Professor Brady’s resolute refusal to cave in to pressure from the Chinesegovernment is recognised by the TEU as a courageous statement about theimportance of Academic Freedom for us all. It will also be a signal to theworld that the Tertiary Education Union defends and promotes the values ofAcademic Freedom.