Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Industrial strength hypocrisy from TEU

Industrial strength hypocrisy from TEU

Voluntary union membership is good enough for tertiary staff but too good for tertiary students according to the Tertiary Education Union.

Yesterday TEU president Tom Ryan defended compulsory student union membership, oblivious to the fact that the union he heads exists with a system of voluntary membership, Student Choice spokesperson Lauren Brazier said.

Mr Ryan should look at the TEU website – it has a whole page dedicated to attempting to persuade tertiary staff to join his voluntary union. If tertiary staff can enjoy voluntary membership why should tertiary students be denied the right to freedom of association?

Ryan tried to defend compulsory membership on the grounds that it provided ‘services’. But TEU’s provision of services to members under voluntary membership showed that his arguments were unfounded.

Lauren Brazier said TEU has an outdated view of voluntary student union membership. TEU think the main role of student unions is to lobby the government for more money for tertiary education. TEU don’t understand that student unions’ main role is to represent the interests of their members and they can only do this legitimately if individual students have a choice about joining the group.

TEU’s views on membership have been shaped by a string of former student politicians who have worked for the union over many years. It’s time Mr Ryan got out and talked to actual students instead of taking his cue from former student politicians on his staff.

Compulsory student union membership costs New Zealand tertiary students $14 million dollars a year. Most of the money taken under compulsory membership goes to paying wages for student association employees, and subsidising orientation parties, clubs and student media. Student associations do not provide non-academic services such as health and counselling, crèches, bars and recreation centres; students fund these services through separate levies paid directly to institutions.

Student Choice supports Roger Douglas’ bill to make membership of student unions voluntary.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland