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Universities Must Put People First!

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union has written to five of the eight university employers to commence renewal of the collective employment agreements our union negotiates across these workplaces.

The Vice Chancellors of Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa | Massey University, Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University, Te Whare Wānaka o Aoraki | Lincoln University, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | The University of Canterbury and Ōtākou Whakaihu Waka | The University of Otago all received ‘initiation notices’ today.

The last time these agreements were all negotiated together, in 2022, there was widespread industrial action across all eight of Aotearoa’s universities which attracted nationwide media attention as staff demanded pay increases to match inflation.

Te Pou Ahurei | National Secretary Sandra Grey says TEU members across the university sector remain unified and determined to improve their terms and conditions of employment.

“Many universities are reporting surpluses and they all have choices about where they invest their considerable operating budgets.”

“Two years ago we highlighted the fact that they have been spending less and less of their operating expenditure on staff. That trend has continued. The vice chancellors have been prioritising buildings over people and that has got to stop.”

“Our message to Aotearoa’s university employers, as we head into collective agreement negotiations, is very simple: you must start putting people first, and investing the vast majority of the public money entrusted to you into staffing.”

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“We cannot afford to lose any more good staff because their pay is falling behind inflation while their workloads keep growing.”

Negotiations will be initiated at Waipapa Taumata Rau | The University of Auckland in two months’ time. Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato | The University of Waikato and Te Wānanga Aronui O Tamaki Makau Rau | Auckland University of Technology have been in the process renewing their collective agreements since late last year.

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