Why I’m striking.

As Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union members at Waipapa Taumata Rau | The University of Auckland prepare to commence a 23-hour strike tomorrow, local branch committee and bargaining team member Antonia Verstappen is urging her colleagues to make the action a success by turning out in greater numbers than ever before.

“I’m striking this week because it’s the right thing to do for me, but also for my colleagues – past, present and future. In particular, it’s abhorrent to me that the employer wants some colleagues to get no pay increase at all if they don’t meet opaque performance criteria, the application of which can vary depending on who your manager is. If we allow things like this to occur, they will be very difficult to roll back.”

“The terms and conditions in our collective agreement are there for no other reason than workers like us fought for them. Previous union members at the University of Auckland made sacrifices so that we could have a better place to work than they had.”

“It’s our responsibility to ensure that future union members enjoy the same conditions we do now, if not better. If we start to let the employer erode the agreements, it will be even harder to stop them doing it again with other important conditions.”

The 23-hour strike will commence at 1:30pm tomorrow and end at 12:30pm on Thursday. 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.