TEU delegation will head to Parliament.

A delegation of Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union members will head to the grounds of Parliament a little before midday on Tuesday 8 November seeking government support for quality tertiary education.

Following some brief speeches to those assembled, Te Pou Ahurei | National Secretary Sandra Grey will present an open letter on university pay addressed to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and a petition on Te Pūkenga funding. Both will be accepted on behalf of the government by Labour MP Deborah Russell.

The letter asks for urgent government intervention on the current university pay dispute, while the petition asks the Ministers of Finance and Education to boost vocational education funding in order to avoid course cuts.

Sandra Grey says “it’s long past time for the government to step up and take its share of responsibility for the issues facing tertiary education. They can’t keep saying they’ve increased funding when in real terms they have not, and they can’t keep saying negotiations around pay are simply matters between employers and their unions when the government has ultimate oversight and controls funding of the sector.”

“Our members would rather be working with learners than taking strike action or having to come directly to the steps of Parliament. But our calls for talks around the sector between employers, the government, and TEU have not been agreed to.”

“We have continually highlighted significant issues caused by inadequate funding and a broken funding model across the sector – in universities, polytechnics and wānanga – that are not being addressed. If the government won’t step in, then strike action which has been going on for a month is likely to continue into election year.”

TEU university members voted overwhelming for strike action – including stoppages and not entering grades. The rally begins at 11:50am on Parliament’s lawn.

Media contact
Enzo Giordani
+64 21 221 4910