University staff to strike nationwide.

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union members, along with colleagues from PSA and E Tū, have voted overwhelmingly to strike at all eight of Aotearoa’s universities. The vote followed a series of paid stop work meetings twelve days ago, where members present almost unanimously called for strike ballots.

As a result, plans are underway for union members to strike this week at University of Auckland, AUT, University of Waikato, Massey University, Victoria University of Wellington, Canterbury University, Lincoln University and University of Otago.

The unions are claiming an 8% pay increase to match the rising cost of living.

Te Pou Ahurei Takirua – Ahumahi | Assistant National Secretary – Industrial, Irena Brörens says “our members are feeling frustrated, angry, and worried about the future of their sector if pay does not keep pace with the cost of living. They don’t want to keep watching good colleagues leave tertiary education or move overseas for industries and international universities that value staff more fairly for what they do.”

“The message we’ve heard loud and clear from our members up and down Aotearoa is they find their employers’ pay offers unacceptable, they are feeling undervalued and they are not willing to accept an effective pay cut. They are taking action for each of their collective agreements, as a sector and as a union to show tertiary employers how serious they are.”

Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi | Public Service Association Assistant Secretary Alex Davies said it was disappointing that members have been forced into taking strike action.

“The overwhelming vote to strike just underlines the strength of feeling among our members who feel a cost of living adjustment is simply fair and reasonable at a time of unprecedented pressure on household budgets. We hope our action sends a strong message to university employers that they need to invest in their staff before it's too late.”

A further media release will be issued later this week when the strikes are finalised.