University of Auckland staff may strike again.

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union members at Waipapa Taumata Rau | University of Auckland will stop work for two hours on Friday 17 February to decide next steps in their long-running industrial dispute.

The employer’s position remains largely unchanged since early November, when TEU members responded by refusing to enter and release student marks or course marks into any student management system for almost a month. At the time, Vice Chancellor Dawn Freshwater described TEU’s strike as “incredibly damaging.”

Kaiwhakahaere | Organiser Nicole Wallace says, “The employer is still demanding union members accept the removal of conditions that were hard-won by previous generations of union members – long service leave and retirement gratuity – from future colleagues, in exchange for the same pay increase that has already been given to non-union staff.”

“The employer also wants union members to agree that some professional staff members should get no pay increase in the future, based on an opaque performance pay system. Despite the University being well able to afford the pay increase, the employer has decided to exploit the current cost of living crisis to push through these changes to the collective agreement.”

“Of the eight universities, Auckland is the only one that still expects our members to sell important conditions. They say they want to reward staff now rather than at the end of their careers, yet their idea of rewarding staff now is a pay increase well below inflation.”

“Obviously our members will decide on Friday, but early indications are they are ready to pick the campaign up again where they left off at the end of last year.”