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USU support for ASTE strike at UNITEC

The UNITEC Student Union give full support for the action, which the Academic Staff have been forced to undertake. It is apparent that UNITEC have little regard for not only the academic staff working conditions but also the student learning conditions on this campus.

It is not unreasonable for staff to expect to be valued for their commitment and experience, nor is it unreasonable for staff to be treated with respect in regards to work conditions. The USU are greatly concerned about the response from UNITEC and the manner in which negotiations have occurred. The lack of commitment to achieving conditions, which are beneficial for the academic staff has a direct correlation to the decline in service provided to the customer-stakeholders of this campus.

The USU support the ASTE position because we are representative of the customers of this Institution. The customers deserve the best services and they have the right to obtain an education from an institution which values their academic staff enough to economically appreciate the effort, dedication and learning which goes into providing tertiary education in the 21st century.

It is a sad reflection on the Institute that does not realise the long-term effects on service provision. Because of the actions of UNITEC negotiations the Academic Staff have been forced to strike and could eventually lead to our staff leaving the Institute to travel to an education provider, which will appreciate their dedication. The benefit for students in this situation is obvious; long- term, well-supported, economically appreciated staff will develop with the Institution and will provide an optimal level of service to the student customers.

It is regrettable that the Institute has chosen to respond in this way to the dedication of Academic Staff over the last year. All UNITEC staff has put considerable work into a failed merger with AUT and the Institution is undergoing a complete Academic re-structure. This has placed considerable stress on staff and the Institution has responded by devaluing their effort and offering such a disrespectful amount of remuneration for the dedication and commitment shown by the staff. It is only obvious that the Institute should be praising and showing appreciation for staff, not insulting them with conditions such as these.

The USU would ask for support from all students on campus in acknowledgement of the fact that ‘good working conditions are good learning conditions’ and meet with us on the picket line at Gate 4, Wednesday 12 November between 7.30-9.30am to give our support for our Academic Staff.

Richelle Kahui-McConnell
UNITEC Student Union
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