University of Auckland strikes re-start.
Feb. 27, 2023
Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education members at Waipapa Taumata Rau | The University of Auckland will strike for 23 hours this week. The strike, which will commence at 1.30pm on Wednesday and end at 12:30pm on Thursday, is expected to cause disruption during the first week of classes of the academic year.
TEU Kaiwhakahaere | Organiser Nicole Wallace says “it gives us no pleasure that the education of akonga | students is again being disrupted. However, the employer has demonstrated that they are otherwise not prepared to meaningfully move on important issues.”
“UoA is the only university in Aotearoa that still expects our members to sell away important conditions such as long service leave and retirement gratuity, along with the threat of no pay increase for some colleagues based on an opaque performance pay system – all in exchange for the same pay increase that has already been given to non-union members.”
“Despite the University being well able to afford a real pay rise, the employer has decided to exploit the current cost of living crisis by attempting to push through these changes to the collective agreement.”
In addition, professional (non-academic) staff have been undertaking a further strike – a ban on working more than the ordinary hours of work, defined in the collective agreement – which commenced last Friday. TEU professional staff at UoA are only contracted and paid to work 37.5 hours per week, yet this is rarely adhered to. Many staff say they regularly work between 40 and 50 hours per week.
Nicole Wallace says “we expect this strike to have a significant impact considering the enormous amounts of goodwill universities have been operating on for years with a combination of staff cuts and COVID causing unsustainable workloads.”
This is the second time such a strike has been undertaken at University of Auckland in a dispute that has been ongoing since last October and it follows in the wake of a strong majority of TEU members, who attended a stop work meeting on Friday the 17th to discuss slow progress in collective agreement negotiations, voting to continue their campaign of action.
Previous strikes in this campaign have included:
- A half day strike on Thursday 6 October last year.
- An academic staff ban on entering and releasing student marks or course marks into any student management system from 14 November until 8 December last year.
- A professional staff ban on working more than the ordinary hours of work, defined in the collective agreement from 17-24 November last year.
TEU members will rally outside the Clock Tower on Princes Street from 2:00pm onwards on Wednesday and between 11am and 12 midday on Thursday.
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