6 March saw the first Council meeting of the year being held at the national office where members met to connect and reconnect with TEU people (members and staff), whenua (place), and purpose (advancing our core values as set out in Te Koeke Tiriti, Te Kaupapa Whaioranga; and the industrial strategy).

For TEU tumu whakarae | national president Michael Gilchrist, the meetings are an important means of gauging our progress on core issues and achieving our collective goals.

“The reports the council receives on our work in communications, research and policy, National Women’s Committee, Te Toi Ahurangi, Industrial and Professional committee, the Rainbow, Talanoa and U35 networks, recruitment and growth work, to name just a few, continue to become ever more impressive over time. The range and energy of our activity as a union really is extraordinary. There are so many members active in so many ways – quite apart from all of our 30 plus branch committees and branch Presidents. We are advancing our values and achieving our goals on so many fronts that it is easy to lose sight of just how impressive the overall picture is”.

Gilchrist continued, “One development in the last year that was highlighted at our meeting has been the rise of our Under 35 network. Our younger members are making a real difference, both within the TEU and in their contribution to the broader union movement, through the CTU. U35 seem to have hit critical mass in a big way, with leaders and activists emerging at a great rate and new initiatives being rapidly advanced”.

The council also met with Tertiary Education Commission head Tim Fowler in the middle of the day. Again the level of dialogue and the grasp of detail shown by council members across a whole range of issues, not only all aspects of RoVE, made this an incredibly valuable session. It provides the ideal basis for future representations to TEC by individuals and smaller groups.