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University union members to strike on Thursday

Entrance to the AUT Sir Paul Reeves Building

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Strikes could disrupt lectures at all eight universities during the next two weeks.
Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

Thousands of union members will go on strike at eight universities on Thursday.

The Tertiary Education Union said its members were walking off the job for part of the day at seven of the eight universities in the country.

Union members at Auckland University of Technology will refuse to enter students’ marks from 6 to 21 October, the union said.

The Tertiary Education Union, which has 7000 members, is demanding an 8 percent pay rise needed to keep up with the cost of living.

Each university was negotiating its own collective agreements with the unions, but the agreements expired at about the same time enabling a co-ordinated industrial action.

The action announced includes full stoppage between 1pm and 5pm at University of Auckland and University of Waikato; from 12pm to 4:30pm at Victoria University of Wellington and for shorter periods at three other universities.

There will be rallies at each university and marches and pickets at Waikato and Massey universities.

On its website, the University of Auckland stated it had explained to the unions that it had made an offer that was fair and reasonable and rewarded staff, while retaining fiscal responsibility.

“The university has made a best offer of a 5 percent and 4 percent general revision offer over two years, subject to certain conditions,” the statement said.

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