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New tertiary- education union another step closer

20 August 2008

New tertiary - education union another step closer

The formation of a new union in the tertiary-education sector has moved a step closer with the adoption of a set of draft rules by representatives of the Association of University Staff (AUS) and Association of Staff in Tertiary Education (ASTE).

The new union, the New Zealand Tertiary Education Union, to be formed through the amalgamation of AUS and ASTE, will be the largest union operating in the tertiary-education sector and will represent the industrial and professional interests of more than 11,500 academic and general staff.

Proposed rules for the new union were adopted at a one-day conference held in Wellington last Friday, following a meeting the day before between the council and national executive of the two existing unions to advance a number of operational matters arising from the amalgamation.

AUS national president, Associate Professor Maureen Montgomery, and ASTE national president, Tangi Tipene, said that the successful adoption of proposed rules for the union reflected how well AUS and ASTE had worked together to create an new, democratic union which would advance the industrial and professional interests of tertiary-education staff throughout the country. "This is an historic occasion and makes the new organisation among the largest unions in the country," they said. "This amalgamation will not only increase the influence of staff within the tertiary-education sector through building industrial strength and advancing professional and education issues, but it will also ensure the better use of resources." Both national presidents were pleased that member participation was positive and many felt the unions had already amalgamated.

The New Zealand Tertiary Education Union will hold its inaugural conference in late November and become fully operational on 1 January 2009.

ENDS

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