TEU welcomes five new staff members.

Hau Taki Haere | Tertiary Update Vol 26, No 3

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union is excited to welcome five new staff members who will bring a wealth of experience to our teams in Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington, and Christchurch.

IT Administrator Jakob Climpson started with us on 27 January. He’s especially looking forward to seeing the difference unions can make in working people’s lives first-hand.

“My previous job working for a large corporation, the staff turnover was quite high. I vowed to find a workplace that not only treated their staff better, but also stood for something other than profit, I wanted to know that the work I was doing would actually be benefiting others. It feels really nice to be working to help improve the lives of others, especially as I have seen what life is like in a work environment where no one is there to help.”

Soon to be Auckland-based Organiser Adam Craigie became involved in the union movement while he was a tutor at the University of Auckland.

“Our preparation and marking time were cut down in our new agreements so we all met as a department, fought back against this, and won. Since then I have worked as an Organiser at the New Zealand Nurses Organisation and NZ Dairy Workers’ Union, and as an English teacher in Brazil. I’m excited to be returning to the tertiary education sector, which is where I first developed a passion for union organising and for the new challenges that this will bring.”

Adam’s first day at the TEU will be on 7 March.

Palmerston North-based Organiser Ben Schmidt, who started his new role on 22 February, says he’s “excited to be working for a strong union with active local members, and I’m particularly looking forward to organising with members for our university bargaining campaign as we work to ensure a significant pay increase and strong union benefits. Being with the union movement has been a large part of my working life – before starting as an organiser with the TEU I worked for the Manawatū Tenants’ Union and was an active PSA member.”

Relative old-hand Rachael Attrill started as a Regional Administrator in our Christchurch office back in October. Coming to us straight from the University of Canterbury and Ara Institute of Canterbury before that, Rachael is passionate about both tertiary education and unions.

“I’ve always been pro-union, but I especially wanted to work for the TEU after some excellent help I received with an issue that came up in my previous employment. That experience really illustrated how crucial it is to have that support in the workplace. I’m also really enjoying working for a nationwide organisation, and the interaction with and support from people all over the country.”

And last but definitely not least, having started back in July 2021 Drew Mayhem is our not entirely new organiser based in Wellington. “After my first four weeks in the job the country plunged into the August level 4 lockdown so it’s been far from a smooth sailing.”

Although new to our sector, Drew is an experienced organiser having spent the previous few years within the health sector organising Capital and Coast, and Hutt Valley DHBs for the New Zealand Nurses Organisation. Prior to that he worked extensively for the PSA.

Drew says he gets his political worldview and commitment to activism from “a healthy diet of punk rock in my formative years. I’m a self-professed failed musician, former radio announcer and sound engineer but nowadays I’m more likely to be found walking my dog, riding my bike, practising yoga or playing boardgames with my three school aged kids.”

Also in this update:

Other Stories:

  • “We’ve had a gutsful;” staff and students left in the dark about COVID outbreak at VUW – Scoop
  • Mental health supports boosted for tertiary students – Beehive
  • SIT chief executive leaving in May, seven months before contract ends – Stuff
  • Open Letter on the Occupation and Closure of Pipitea Campus – VUWSA