Volume 5, Number 2, August 2013
President Jack Speaks A summarised version of President Jack’s TEU statement to Academic Board regarding the Strategic Plan for the College of Arts: “Despite the stress of over a decade of downsizing lately accentuated by the intense episodes of financial turmoil of the earthquakes, the College of Arts remains the heart of our community. It is thus bittersweet to observe the development of the Strategic Plan. This Plan is born from the bitter premise that campus wide income has fallen below operational and depreciation expenses. Its sweet promise is to relieve the College of Arts for a period from what has been the annual withering of its ranks. The TEU does not rejoice in the inevitability of further loses of jobs that this Plan signals. Our membership does not embrace the loss of academic programmes and courses. It has been our role to ensure, however, that any process that might have this result is fair, transparent and in the best interests of the University as well as our members…
UC TEU President makes another compelling point to Opposition Leader David Shearer during a recent exchange of views at TEU House. Not long after David announced his resignation from the leadership.
…From our perspective, the process behind the development of the College of Arts’ Strategic Plan has been one of the best models to emulate despite its bittersweet goals. We encourage the University’s leadership to make note of how this process differs from past processes to secure the value of its lessons for setting future strategic goals…Bottom-up participation should be amplified as we move ahead with additional difficult decisions because these processes help preserve the dignity of staff and counter the unjustified sense that they are the cause of the financial problems we face. Moreover, that wisdom increases the chances that good decisions will be made. Our potentially adversely affected colleagues and Colleges have not failed this University, its students, the community or the nation. They have served well… Those who may leave us were no less successful than those of us who will stay; only the problems and visions are changed. That is both a thank you to the colleagues I may lose and a warning to my colleagues who will remain…”
Cleaners & General Staff TEU recognised the contribution General Staff make to the University’s successes with a well-attended BBQ at the Ilam Campus. Earlier in the month we had also taken the opportunity to recognise the often forgotten group of toilers on campus – our Cleaners and Cleaner Supervisors. With many starting at ungodly hours of the morning TEU decided that a 6.00am breakfast was most appropriate – for the cleaners at least! The Vice Chancellor had endorsed and supported the concept and also made the effort to ‘meet and greet’ employees he doesn’t often get the chance to see. A good turnout of some 80 cleaner members saw the sausages and bacon soon get cleaned up. Thanks to Gaby, Liz, Tim, Jack, Madison, and Benita for their support and contribution.
General Staff Day BBQ
TEU Academic Women’s Promotion Training Seminar TEU’s National Women’s Officer and educator Suzanne McNabb kindly ran a well-attended seminar for Canterbury University TEU Academic women members a couple of months ago. $10.7 million over the next four years is being allocated to the Canterbury building programme as part of the Working Safer package. “Real success in meeting safety objectives will involve a partnership approach with all parties, including workers and their unions.” “Working Safer’s strengthening of worker participation and systems at the workplace is a positive step. The CTU and unions in Canterbury have a major role to play in actively supporting and educating workers and their representatives so they can play a genuine role in keeping workplaces safe,” says Paul Watson. “We look forward to a legitimate tripartite approach to construction safety and the leadership role the union movement plays in the safe rebuild of Christchurch.”
Topics covered included the perceived barriers to career progression for academic women; Equal Employment Opportunity obligations; what support can women offer each other; strategies for making sure your director knows who you are and what you do. Several senior academic women from UC presented their top tips – thanks to Dean of Postgraduate Studies Lucy Johnston, Law Professor Ursula Cheer, and College of Education PVC Gail Gillon.
Change Proposals & Reviews Underway Your TEU organisers and branch officers are currently engaged in the debate, consultative process and attempted negotiation associated with range of proposals that are designed primarily to reduce costs (read staff) in a climate of increasingly reduced support from government and continuing financial downsides derived from the earthquakes. Members are encouraged to provide support for colleagues and programmes by way of submission. For those who have not been involved with this process the TEU has available a backgrounder and guideline that may be of value titled: ‘Preparing a submission in response to a change proposal.’ Just drop Gaby or Paul a request.
College of Arts – “Strategic Development and Financial Sustainability” Impact potential on (in no particular order): Music; Theatre & Film Studies; Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology; Political Science; Linguistics; Language Studies; English; Classics; Art History & Theory
Ad-hoc Academic Review being undertaken in Fine Arts
Economics & Finance
TEU member and Adjunct Fellow Jeffrey Paparoa Holman at the recent launch of his excellent book ‘The Lost Pilot’ held at the University Bookshop. Copies of this absorbing and excellent read are still available at the UBS.
Demand for a Living Wage
RALLIES PROTEST EMPLOYMENT LAWS The Canterbury University Branch of the TEU has submitted strongly in opposition to Government-proposed and draconian changes to the Employment Relations Act. The changes are designed to cut pay and remove some basic rights at work. It will also remove the ‘Good Faith’ requirement that the parties to collective bargaining conclude a collective agreement. It proposes the removal of the ’30-day rule’, which requires that non-union workers be employed, for their first 30 days of their employment, under the same terms and conditions as those in any collective agreement covering their work. Under the changes proposed by the Government, employers will be able to employ workers who are not union members on individual terms and conditions from day one on the job. Despite this, all any employee needs do in order to gain access to the terms and conditions of any collective agreement covering their work is simply join the union that negotiated the agreement – ie the TEU.
A living wage is the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life. A living wage will enable workers to live with dignity and to participate as active citizens in society. We call upon the Government, employers and society as a whole to strive for a living wage for all households as a necessary and important step in the reduction of poverty in New Zealand. CTU National President Helen Kelly says: “Rather than cutting employment rights we need a living wage, improvements in collective bargaining coverage and a real acknowledgement that the huge inequalities of income we are currently seeing in New Zealand are unjustified and must be addressed.”
TEU supports the series of nationally organised union rallies and we encourage our members in Canterbury to make an effort:
10.30 am – 11.30 am Thursday 29 August Wigram Air Force Museum
Invitation to Branch Committee Meetings If any member has an interest in attending the fortnightly Branch Committee meetings in an observer capacity and to see what your representatives get up to you are welcome to attend. These meetings are all held at TEU House, 41 Creyke Road, and start at 1.00pm. A hot drink and a non-fattening biscuit (or otherwise) is always available! If you have any queries with this please drop a line to our Secretary Tim O’Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org or President Jack Heinemann Jack Heinemann at email@example.com
TEU’s National Women’s Officer and educator Suzanne McNabb
Thursday 5 September Wednesday 18 September Thursday 3 October Wednesday 16 October Thursday 7 November Wednesday 20 November Thursday 5 December
All at 1.00pm at TEU house
College of Education INVITATION TEU College of Education Members are invited to a free BBQ to be held on the ‘Croquet Lawn’ (the area between the main office and the cafeteria) between 11.30 am and 1.30 pm on th Wednesday the 4 of September. It would be lovely to see you all there and we encourage you to bring along and introduce any non TEU staff who may wish to talk about joining TEU!
A brief update from our TEU ITP Organiser Phil Dodds: My time through 2013 has been dedicated to attempt recruitment opportunities at CPIT so that we can return to being the largest of the unions on site. Currently there is an in-house union whose Collective Agreement is offered to all new CPIT employees. That collective has less leave but higher salaries. Recruitment in the face of less money is a significant challenge.
Carolyn Mason is the interim TEU Canterbury Women’s Officer (from August 2013-June 2014) while Anne-Maree Brady is away on a fellowship in the US.
WHO CAN JOIN THE TEU? Did you know: Research shows that staff in unionised workplaces earn more than those in non-unionised workplaces… From time to time the organisers and branch committee representatives hear the feedback that staff in line management roles cannot join the union. This is incorrect. In addition to any continuing Academic or General Staff on individual employment agreements, staff on fixed-term agreements, casual staff, part-time staff, academic year-only staff, general staff members who work at UC, even senior managers and middle managers, can all join. In short, anyone who works at the University of Canterbury can join TEU (except the Vice Chancellor who is deemed ‘the employer’). So if you know of any colleagues who would like to join but think they are ineligible, then you can advise them that they can sign up at http://teu.ac.nz/join or with a printed membership form which can be sent to them via the internal mail (email Madison.Walker@teu.ac.nz ) to request a form). There are significant discounts for low-income members and your colleagues can use http://teu.ac.nz/join/subscriptions to calculate what their fees might be.
Helen Kelly visits Tai Poutini Members at Tai Poutini Polytechnic (West Coast) enjoyed an address from NZCTU President Helen Kelly on Friday 23 August. Helen was commenting on a variety of CTU activities including the proposed Employment Relations Act changes – see details elsewhere in this newsletter.
5 October is World Teachers’ Day and also World Academic Freedom Day. TEU will be promoting this day with several small activities to highlight the importance of academic freedom. Perhaps not a surprise to many of you, but Albert Einstein was smart enough to join a union and advocate that others do the same. He was a founding member of the Princeton Federation of Teachers Local 552. “I consider it important, indeed urgently necessary, for intellectual workers to get together, both to protect their own economic status and ... to secure their influence in the political field.”
A selection of your dedicated TEU Branch Committee Members
Lynsey Talagi Liz Brown
Earthquake-related leave Just a reminder for those members still stuck on the seemingly static queue awaiting the attentions of EQC and their insurance provider. With 3 years now past since the first Big ‘Un the pressure is certainly on. We remind members that the University of Canterbury is still being supportive in this regard. Earthquake Recovery Leave was scheduled to end last December. However, in recognition of the stresses and demands members/staff still face, the following support will still apply: The University will continue supporting staff with their post-earthquake remediation issues beyond 2013. They recognise that remaining issues may be more complex that those addressed over the past three years; ERL is treated for accounting purposes just as annual leave. This adds a significant cost to the University. The University has agreed that they will continue to encourage managers to, where appropriate, release staff from their duties to attend to earthquake-related issues, using the discretionary leave process in the HR toolkit. Adjustments to that documentation have been made to reflect this. It is pleasing that to date TEU have not had any concerns expressed to us that members have been turned down by a refusal to exercise discretion in a genuine case. In the event of any concerns please contact one of the Organisers for assistance.
Contact your organisers University of Canterbury
CPIT and ITP Sector
Gabrielle Moore 021 190 2396 Extension 6485 firstname.lastname@example.org
UC TEU Branch Officers President Secretary/Treasurer Jack Heinemann Biological Sciences Extension 6926
Tim O’Sullivan Central Library Lending Services Extension 8826
Paul Corliss 021 859129 Extension 6288 email@example.com
Phil Dodds 027 44 99 422 Extension 6768 firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Administrator/Office Madison Walker Extension 4150 Madison.email@example.com