Strike at MIT

Written By: - Date published: 5:37 am, April 28th, 2009 - 12 comments
Categories: Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

Members of the Tertiary Education Union at the Manukau Institute of Technology are striking. A TEU member explains the dispute:

Basically lecturers at MIT are going on strike this week over workload pressures.  Last year the Institute cut all its admin staff, and surprise, everyone else’s workload increased.  Then this year, with the recession, heaps of new student enrolments, but no new govt funding or staff to match that increase.  Currently, the MIT collective agreement allows for teaching staff to teach a maximum of 835 contact hours a year. Staff want to limit timetabled teaching hours to a maximum of 20 hours a week and to introduce workload bands that would see those staff teaching at higher levels, with large numbers of students, or with more out-of-class assessment, teaching fewer contact hours per week. 800 contact hours a year is very high for tertiary education when you take into account all the admin, assessment lesson planning etc that teachers also have to do.

In response, the employer has offered a 3.2 percent pay increase over 22 months, broken up into two smaller increases, and the introduction of a clause that would enable MIT and individual members to negotiate flexible arrangements as variations to the collective agreement (e.g. IEAs within the CEA). TEU members believe this clause could have a detrimental effect on working conditions, especially on hours of work for new employees and employees in particular areas of teaching such as nursing.

We’re going to see more strikes as the Government’s spending cuts lead to falling real wages, especially at the so-called front line, which National promised to improve.

12 comments on “Strike at MIT”

  1. BLiP 1

    What National promises is seldom what happens. Go the MIT workers Kia kaha.

  2. Worker 2

    Have you even bothered to investigate why their Govt funding doesn’t increase because they got more enrolments than expected? Perhaps it’s because the Labour Govt introduced the TEC and its associated funding model. Is funding not based (along with other measures) on the number of enrolments institutions expects to recieve?

    • Observer 2.1

      The TES from TEC, devised by DMC (That’s Dr. Michael Cullen) was purposely formulated to erase the idiocy of ‘bums on seats’ and reintroduce the concept of stable institutions of learning. The Institutes of Technology & Polytechnics all fought against this, as did the universities, on the basis that they should be paid for quantity of raw material consumption, rather than quantity or quality of ‘production’. How sad was this protest, and ho much sadder that, in a time of lower government revenue, increased international competition and thousands of job losses on the horizon, a union decides it should strike against a policy introduced by the most pro-union government in 20 years!


  3. S.A. 3

    From the above, the issue of government funding is not even part of the equation. What we have here is a situation where the employer is attempting to hoist increased workloads on the staff without real compensation, while at the same time attempting to erode general working conditions.

    Aside from bad taste this offer would leave in any workers mouth, the problem here is that in education, increased time spent by teaching staff in front of a class translates to a decrease in quality of the material being delivered–have you ever had a class from a burnt-out instructor?

    Thus, the strike seems to be the result of the workers having a commitment to deliver quality training to the people of South Auckland and further, as well as wanting to protect their working conditions. Who wouldn’t support that?!?

  4. Thomas Beagle 4

    Hey, what happened to the post by Guest Post about the Israel invasion of Gaza ruining their summer holiday? And I quote:

    “I think I can safely credit Israeli foreign policy with ruining my summer. If you’re the empathic type – it’s hard to go to the beach and swim in the sun while, several thousand miles beneath your feet, people are being killed en masse by people who should know better about how not to treat people – based on their own historical experience.”

    Should have killed it before the RSS readers got it.

    • Tane 4.1

      Must have been a scheduling error, happens sometimes. The post is queued up, due Thursday morning.

      • Thomas Beagle 4.1.1

        Fair enough. Computers are hard!

        You might want to consider some editing of it. The initial paragraph reads … a tad self-indulgently.

    • lprent 4.2

      It is scheduled for a few days away. Must have escaped when it was being edited. Sometimes happens when you press publish without setting the schedule time

    • Felix 4.3

      Careful guys, there are semi-literate morons like Thomas watching your every move.

      Hey Thomas, have you emailed Slater with your scandal?

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