MEDIA RELEASE Date: 11 November 2003
Attention: Political/Education Reporters
For: Immediate Release
The Aotearoa Tertiary Students Association (ATSA) has come out in support of staff of six polytechnics who will go on strike on Wednesday.
“ATSA supports the right for every New Zealander to make a living wage no matter what they do, in a time of record budget surpluses and increasing attendance at Tertiary Institutions, working conditions and pay rates are not keeping pace,” Waireka Crawford, Vice President of ATSA says.
“Once again the inadequate funding of tertiary education is rearing its ugly head. This time it manifests itself as a tertiary institution staff strike. This action perhaps supports the notion that the government pays little more than lip service to their promises of supporting tertiary education.”
“At a time when New Zealand is crying out for suitable skills-based workers, staff deserve to be paid what they are worth. ATSA fully agrees with the ASTE position that working conditions are students learning conditions.”
Atsa supports tertiary academic staff in this action, and have faith in ASTE assurances that no students will be adversely affected.
However ATSA also recognises that staff, in effect are stuck between institutions and students and must do something to improve working conditions, so the quality of tertiary education, long term, is not compromised.
ATSA looks forward to a successful and speedy resolution to this issue.
ENDS For further comment, contact: Waireka Crawford ATSA National Vice President Cell phone 029 346 8786
The Aotearoa Tertiary Students’ Association Representing University, Polytechnic and Wananga students