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More strike at North Island Polytechnics

Media Release
3 November 2009

More strike at North Island Polytechnics

Staff at the six polytechnics that had been on strike during September have resumed industrial action after mediation between their employers and them failed to resolve the dispute. 950 union member academics at NorthTec, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Waikato Institute of Technology, and Western Institute of Technology in Taranaki, Whitireia Polytechnic and Unitec have been in negotiations for nearly eight months now including over a week of industrial action and strikes and now two unsuccessful days of mediation.

Tertiary Education Union advocate Chan Dixon says that union members have worked extremely hard with employers to try to resolve these negotiations, but the six polytechnics continue to insist on cuts to the academics existing working conditions.

“The polytechnics and institutes of technology are using the current environment to try to take working conditions away from people. This is disingenuous because the polytechnics actually have full enrolments and can afford to treat their staff better. We don’t believe that the current offer is acceptable.”

Union members have removed all their claims from the negotiations apart from a claim to improve the current 2 percent over two years pay offer. Effectively they are seeking now simply not to have existing conditions cut.

“These academics and teachers don’t want to have to disrupt students’ classes but are prepared to undertake further action to prevent cuts to their working conditions,” said Ms Dixon.


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