University bargaining underway.

Negotiations to renew the eight university collective agreements are getting underway, with Victoria, Waikato, and Otago university teams holding their first meetings with employers this week. Massey, Lincoln, Canterbury, Auckland, and AUT universities will all follow in the next 3-4 weeks.

Te Pou Ahurei Takirua – Ahumahi | Assistant National Secretary – Industrial, Irena Brörens says “employers should expect our claims to reflect the current economic conditions, including the rate of inflation that Statistics New Zealand announced yesterday has gone up to 7.3% - the highest we’ve seen in 32 years.”

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union’s most recent State of the Sector survey, completed by almost three and a half thousand people in March and April 2022, shows over 50% of academic staff either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied that their pay fairly reflects hours worked for their university.

Meanwhile well over 50% of university general staff are either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied that the pay they receive fairly reflects the type of work they do.

Last week, TEU revealed a campaign being run in parallel with this year’s university negotiations that seeks to show the public what life in the tertiary education workforce is really like.

Te Pou Ahurei | National Secretary Sandra Grey said “our members work long hours and their workloads were excessive before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. But since March 2020, when staff had 48 hours’ notice to transfer all courses online, and worked around the clock to do so, our members have had to do twice the work to deliver both online and in person while still finding time to do administration tasks as well as hit research targets.”

“And to top it all off, staff have had to bear the brunt of constant funding cuts that have left fewer and fewer people doing more and more work.”

“It’s time for the government to fund tertiary education properly and for employers in the sector to give staff a real pay rise.”