TEU calls on Te Pūkenga management to look after staff so they can look after students.

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union is vowing to keep the pressure on Te Pūkenga management in the wake of the vocational education leaders releasing its much-anticipated proposed operating structure today.

TEU’s members will be commenting on the operating structure over the next three weeks, a structure which Te Pūkenga leaders are touting as addressing the charter – including learner and employer needs, as well as regional demands around education and training.

Te Pou Ahurei | National Secretary Sandra Grey says “what’s not clear is what levels of staffing are planned for in the proposed operating model. Our members are increasingly over worked and under pressure. We will not accept any further cuts to a network of provision already stretched paper thin.”

“The overwhelming bulk of our members won’t find out if they will keep their jobs long term until the fourth quarter of 2023. Too much time has been spent writing high level frameworks and not enough on the practical aspects like the operating model, that’s simply not good enough and our members are rightly incensed.”

“Experienced and valuable staff are leaving in high numbers to go and work for employers who are more than willing to offer more money and better job security.”

Another area of concern includes an apparent shift towards in-work training as the preferred mode of delivery over and above on-campus and online provision – a move being driven by the government’s agreed funding model.

As Grey points out, “on-job training doesn’t suit all learners, particularly in areas where there aren’t enough employers or when a programme requires a greater variety of skills than some employers practice regularly. For example you can’t learn a complete set of joinery skills on the job with an employer that specialises in making windows.”

“As for some of the business language, we fear that may well be in response to recent pressure to cut costs and fit within the current funding model. It’s disappointing to see the government and TEC continuing to attack the symptoms, not the disease. The ‘bums on seats’ funding model does not work for the public good as it’s unable to even out boom and bust cycles that require education to be ready and able to retrain our people during economic downturns.”

“Over the coming weeks and months we hope Te Pūkenga will keep working with us, both on lobbying for a more appropriate funding model and engagement with the people who best know the students and the work from the coalface.”

TEU will be encouraging members to participate fully in the consultation. Our submissions will focus on five key principles. Those principles are:

  • Honour Te Tiriti
  • Uphold the Charter
  • Staff working conditions are ākonga learning conditions
  • On-campus, online, and on-job, in the cities and in the regions
  • Govern centrally, operate locally