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Christchurch Polytechnic staff walk off on strike

1 August 2011

Christchurch Polytechnic staff walk off on strike

"A kick in the guts" and “being undervalued” was how teachers at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) described their employer's proposal to make them work more hours and take away their leave.

Teachers walked straight out of their paid stopwork meeting and off home, after voting overwhelmingly to go on strike in response to their employer's proposals. An action committee of Tertiary Education Union (TEU) members is now organising further actions whilst the TEU bargaining team intend returning to the bargaining table to negotiate changes to the polytechnic's offer.

TEU organiser Phil Dodds said staff at CPIT believe they have made a massive contribution to getting the polytechnic back up and running for students after the earthquakes, and were stunned that their employer was now choosing to attack their working conditions; whilst other employers in the region were rewarding staff for the efforts their staff had made.

"CPIT staff come to work for CPIT because they want to teach. But the leave they get is also an appealing draw card. Many current staff took a pay cut from their previous job to come to CPIT because the leave better matched their family life and circumstances. Now the polytechnic wants to take that away," said Mr Dodds.


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