After four months of negotiations and a clear collective message, TEU members covered by the academic, general, and research staff agreement at Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington, have settled their collective agreement.
The settlement is a success for TEU members , and sees a 2.5% pay rise for each year of the two year agreement, back-dated to July 1, with a number of claims made by the employer and deemed punitive by members taken off the table.
Members were kept informed of developments and provided feedback every step of the way. A TEU ballot indicated overwhelming support for strike action from members if the employer did not change their position. As a result of the ballot and the members’ collective voice, the employer changed their position, increased their pay offer, and withdrew the punitive claims.
TEU branch organiser Nicki Wilford says success during this round of collective negotiations was largely due to the collective will and action of members.
“What’s so fantastic is that by approaching our members early, keeping them informed every step of the way, and getting that feedback, we have had excellent involvement from our members. It’s a powerful example of what can be achieved when we work together and when we collectively make a committment to action”.
Dougal McNeill, academic member of the VUW branch negotiating team agreed with Nicki, and says success in collective negotiations comes down to a willingness to stand together:
“I think it serves as a timely reminder of the importance of our principles, tū kotahi, tū kaha. We are strong and unified and are committed to actions which will leave no-one behind. The actions members took in reaching this agreement will ensure staff at Victoria feel valued in the work they do, and we’re all pleased the university recognises the committment and expertise of their staff”.