Students and staff protest against university restructure
Thursday 17 May, 2018
Today at 12pm students and staff will protest the closure of specialist libraries, job losses, and lack of public funding for tertiary education. In response to the failures of university managers and government ministers, they will demand a new democratic university.
“The University of Auckland is implementing another wave of restructures that will lead to unjustified job losses, reduced support services, and the destruction of critical learning spaces,” says A New University.
“This new project for restructuring and cutting library services, student learning services, IT and finance signals further erosion of the quality of education and conditions for staff and students.
“There have been a wave of protests against the closure of specialist libraries, including an occupation of the Fine Arts Library until police were called on the occupiers. Students are now fighting for more than the libraries, they want a new university.
“Universities serve a vital role in acting as a critic and conscience of society. This restructure undermines that fundamental role.
“University funding has been in steady decline for decades which has caused harm to students and staff.
“With the increased costs of living and unaffordable rental markets, students are falling further into hardship.
“The Labour government’s commitment to the Budget Responsibility Rules limits the funding available for public services.
“Students call for the Government to scrap this unnecessary financial chokehold and fund education, housing and welfare.
“The University of Auckland is controlled by highly paid senior managers that make top-down decisions about how funding and resources are allocated, bypassing consultation requirements and refusing to engage with students and staff as stakeholders in the institution.
“Stuart McCutcheon, one of the highest paid public servants, has repeatedly spearheaded restructuring processes without consulting staff and students.
“Students call for the immediate resignation of and the establishment of democratic decision making processes at the University of Auckland.
“Students and staff should have control over how their place of work and learning are managed.
“Education is not a business. Students demand A New University under collective democratic control.”