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AUS Tertiary Update Vol. 5 No. 22, 27 June 2002


In our lead story this week…..
The national president of the Association of University Staff (AUS), Dr Grant Duncan says the nationally-coordinated industrial negotiations in the recent university salary round benefited members, and the union hopes in future to institute an even stronger centralised bargaining approach. In an article for a National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) publication, Dr Duncan says the recent round was not without its hiccups, but was successful in raising the original offers of between zero and 1.8% to final settlements in the 3.2% to 4% range. All the universities, except Auckland, have agreements that expire in November, meaning a new round of bargaining is due to get underway soon, with Otago leading the way. Dr Duncan says that, all going well, steps towards a multi-employer agreement could begin in late 2004. He says AUS also hopes that central government would in future be more involved in the process.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:
1. High Court decision clarifies copyright issues
2. Regaining control of teachers' work
3. Free tertiary education top priority for Alliance
4. Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards
5. Canadian taskforce for academic freedom
6. Student ratios threaten quality drive
7. Canadians say yes to more tertiary funding

The High Court has made clear that if a teacher at an educational institution makes multiple copies of more than 3% or three pages of a work (provided that does not represent more than 50% of the work) without a licence from the Copyright Licensing Ltd (CLL), they are infringing copyright. The ruling was made by Justice Peter Salmon in a case between CLL and New Zealand universities and clarifies the scope of copyright exceptions under Part III of the Copyright Act 1994. Justice Salmon makes it clear that while there are specific sections dealing with copying by educational institutions for educational purposes, the institutions cannot make multiple copies of copyright material on behalf of students or master copies for students for "research and private study". Institutions and libraries were also not permitted to make master copies of copyright material under one exception and then make them available for further copying by students under "fair dealing". By doing so, the judgement made clear, the institution would be breaching copyright, unless it had a licence from CLL or the permission of the copyright owner.

Massey University's Department of Social and Policy Studies in Education is hosting a conference and research seminar in late August entitled "The politics of teachers' work in Aotearoa/New Zealand”. The conference will be held on 24-25 August at Massey's Hokowhitu campus in Palmerston North. The conference will consider the historical and cultural forces and the political, bureaucratic and populist agendas that have steered teaching, curriculum and assessment in some directions, rather than others. Speakers will include Professor John Smyth of Flinders University in South Australia, Dr Trish Johnston of Massey University and Brian Easton, who has written several books on the New Zealand economy from a critical perspective.
For further information and registration contact John O'Neill –

Fourteen tertiary educators have been honoured in the inaugural tertiary teaching excellence awards which were established to recognise good tertiary teachers and to share their teaching methods with tutors and lecturers across the country. The award winners are employed across the whole tertiary education system – from foundation educators to university professors. Award winners received $20,000, while the winner of the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award received $30,000, to be spent on career development and the sharing of best practice.

As the political parties brush up their policies for next month's election, the Alliance has announced it is making free tertiary education its election priority. The Alliance leader, Laila Harré made it clear that any coalition deal with Labour would have to include more money for students. She said that "a serious move" in the direction of free tertiary education would be "the first claim" the Alliance put on the table in coalition negotiations with Labour and any deal would have to include "significantly" more than the $400m. over three years committed in the May budget. Ms Harré also made it clear the Alliance would expect to hold the tertiary education portfolio in cabinet if it was re-elected to power.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has named a five-person taskforce to investigate how free clinical faculty and medical researchers are to speak about, and report on, their findings. The taskforce follows a number of recent high-profile cases in Canada in which academic freedom has been put into question. The executive director of CAUT, James Turk says those cases have made clear that academic freedom is a major issue for clinical faculty and research staff in university-affiliated hospitals and research centres. "If health researchers and teachers are not able to speak freely, to share their findings with patients and colleagues, and to publish their results in scientific journals, we are all at risk," he says.


In Australia, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) is calling for action to cut back student/teaching staff ratios, saying there can be no improvements in the quality of teaching and learning at universities under the current "unprecedented levels". Latest figures released by the Australian Vice-Chancellor's Committee show student to staff ratios have increased by 38.8% over the past 8 years, climbing from 14.3 to 1 in 1993 to 19.9 to 1 in 2001. NTEU president, Dr Carolyn Allport says “Lack of funding for core teaching has lead to unprecedented increases in student to staff ratios and will compromise the reputation of Australian universities if the trend is not reversed.”

A Canadian poll commissioned by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has found that a majority of Canadians want the federal government to make investment in tertiary education a high priority. Eight-two percent said investment in the sector should be a high priority of government, and only 20% of those polled believed the ruling Liberal government was doing a good job of supporting colleges and universities. Of Liberal supporters questioned, 57% said they thought federal government funding for tertiary education should be increased.

AUS Tertiary Update is produced weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the union and others. Back issues are archived on the AUS website: Direct enquiries to Helen Kelly, AUS general secretary. Email:

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