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National Day of Campus Action

18 July

National Day of Campus Action

“Staff and students at universities, polytechs and wananga should unite to fight for a properly funded education service”, says Vaughan Gunson, member of ASTE teacher’s union and Unity activist.

“We should join together and organize a National Day of Campus Action”, says Gunson.

University staff are taking strike action between 20 July and 4 August to secure a collective agreement across seven universities, and a decent pay rise.

“The strikes are a great opportunity to build for combined actions by staff and students on campuses”, says Gunson.

The Association of University Staff (AUS), the union that represents university staff, is correctly arguing that government underfunding is the problem.

“Inadequate government funding is what students are saying also. Students got virtually nothing from the Budget. Fees are going up, and the vast majority of students still can’t get student allowances”, says Gunson.

“Staff and students have common cause. Joint protests and demonstrations by staff and students would put real pressure on the government prior to the election.”

Michael Cullen, the Minister of Finance, says he intends to rein in government spending on tertiary education further. “What will this do for a tertiary education system already buckling from a lack of funding?” asks Gunson.

“The Labour government’s acceptance of the miserly corporate model is disastrous for education quality. Free public education should be a basic right.”

“Combined actions by staff and students at universities, polytechs and wananga could restart the campaign for a properly funded public education service”, says Gunson.

Student association leaders, AUS and ASTE union members, union leaders of Tuia Union, which represents staff at Te Wananga O Aotearoa, have expressed support for the idea of National Day of Campus Action.

ENDS

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