A brighter future tertiary education in a restricted environment
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A BRIGHTER FUTURE? Tertiary Education in a Restricted Environment. Dr Tom Ryan, National President, TEU To NZUSA Conference, 28 Jan 2010. TERTIARY EDUCATION UNION Te Hautu Kahurangi o Aotearoa. Formed one year ago from merger of two other main tertiary sector unions, AUS and ASTE

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A BRIGHTER FUTURE? Tertiary Education in a Restricted Environment

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A brighter future tertiary education in a restricted environment

A BRIGHTER FUTURE?Tertiary Education in a Restricted Environment

Dr Tom Ryan, National President, TEU

To NZUSA Conference, 28 Jan 2010

Tertiary Education Union – Te Hautū Kahurangi o Aotearoa - 0800 278 348 - [email protected]


Tertiary education union te hautu kahurangi o aotearoa

TERTIARY EDUCATION UNIONTe Hautu Kahurangi o Aotearoa

  • Formed one year ago from merger of two other main tertiary sector unions, AUS and ASTE

  • 35 full-time staff, national office in Wellington, plus regional offices around country

  • Publisher of widely read weekly sector web news sheet, Tertiary Update

  • Currently has 11,000 members (6,000 academic staff, and 5,000 general staff)

  • Most are concentrated in 30 public institutions across NZ: i.e. 8 Universities, 20 ITPs, 2 Wananga


The new zealand tertiary education sector c2009

The New Zealand Tertiary Education Sector, c2009

  • 30 main public tertiary education institutions

  • Also - ACE, OTEPs, REAPs, ITOs, & PTEs

  • 35,000 employees

  • 500,000 enrolled students

  • 30,000 international students ($300m in fees)

  • $5 billion per annum public funding (includes student loans), or 2.8% of GDP

  • Many stakeholder groups…… eg. NZAUS, TEU


Major issues facing teu 1 industrial

Major issues facing TEU:1. Industrial

  • 2009 budget cuts kick in fully by 2011 – major reductions in institutional incomes predicted

  • ITP multi-employer (MECA) collective agreement still unsettled –stuck on issues of ‘productivity’

  • Govt efforts to limit pay increases – most recent agreements less than cost of living, even zero

  • Official sidelining of gender pay equity initiatives

  • Relativities with Australia a serious risk – increased public funding there, sector av 4% pa salary growth


Major issues facing teu 2 professional

Major issues facing TEU:2. Professional

  • Original intention of PBRF was as mechanism for alternative funding stream. Now widely abused via staff appointments & promotion processes

  • A risk that teaching performance/course evaluations may be similarly abused by institutions, or lead to grade inflation & pressure on staff

  • Likewise course completion auditing – e.g. such data can ignore external social factors like students’ family issues, illness, financial pressures


Major issues facing teu 3 political

Major issues facing TEU:3. Political

  • A Government overly committed to market philosophy and reduced public spending

  • New law eliminating student, employee, etc representation on polytechnic boards

  • Major threats to the economic viability of some ITPs, and private/public regimes

  • ‘Voluntary’ student association legislation threatens basic student rights, democratic tradition, & management of resources


Major issues facing teu 4 global

Major issues facing TEU:4. Global

  • Academic freedom under threat – reflected by intrusions of SIS into tertiary campuses under guise of students/staff procurring WMDs, training for terrorism, etc

  • Free trade agreements – a major issue, especially with USA, as it would demand deregulation of sector, & full access for their private operators to set up in NZ

  • Academic staff demography – aging will hit tertiary education internationally over next decade. Relatively low salaries & cuts in postgraduate training bode badly for NZ


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