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Victoria University hosts international trade union expert

14 March 2014

Victoria University hosts international trade union expert

The future role for trade unions will be the focus of an internationally respected trade union expert from Harvard University, hosted by Victoria University of Wellington from 17 March.

During her three-week stay in New Zealand Dr Elaine Bernard, Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Trade Union Program, will behosted by Victoria’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work with the support of a Fulbright Award.

Dr Bernard will hold several workshops for trade unions and two public seminars in Wellington and Auckland. Her seminars aim to stimulate discussion on the role of trade unions in the modern business environment and civil society among those working in human resource management and employment relations, and employment policy. They will also assess the impact of the decline of trade union participation and collective bargaining on work and workplaces.

The Wellington seminar will include presenters from Fonterra, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and the Living Wage Campaign of Aotearoa, who will explore the role of unions in New Zealand workplaces and society.

Dr Bernard researches and teaches in the areas of international comparative labour movements, union leadership and governance, and the role of unions in promoting civil society, democracy and economic growth. A popular public speaker, as well as a lifelong union member and activist, Dr Bernard is in demand internationally for workshops and training seminars.

During her visit, Dr Bernard will also be hosted, for one week, by AUT’s New Zealand Work Research Institute.

Do unions still matter? Unionism in the modern workplace and society
Date: Tuesday, 1 April
Time: 9.00am–12.30pm (registration from 8.30am)
Venue: Royal Society of New Zealand, Lecture Room, 11 Turnbull Street, Thorndon
Cost: $60
Registration forms and more details at

Role of the modern workplace and civil society
Date: Tuesday, 25 March, 2–3.30pm
Venue: AUT Business School, 42 Wakefield Street, Auckland
Cost: Free
RSVP to by 12 noon, 20 March
More details at


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