TEU and PSA strike action

Updated Wednesday 5 October 2022

We have received notice that Tertiary Education Union (TEU) and Professional Staff Association (PSA) members under coverage of the UoA Academic Staff Collective Agreement and the Professional Staff Collective Agreement have voted in favour of taking strike action following rejection of the Employer’s general revision pay offer. Our understanding is that this is a nationally coordinated strike across the University sector and will take place at all eight universities in Aotearoa New Zealand. We understand that the strike may happen as early as this week.

As your employer, the University has made a best offer of a 5% and 4% general revision offer over two years, subject to certain conditions. In communicating this offer to the unions, we explained our view that the offer is fair and reasonable and rewards staff to the maximum extent that it can, while retaining fiscal responsibility. We have also discussed with the unions our disappointment that a vote in favour of strike action was taken before the full extent of the offer was tabled or had been the subject of any meaningful discussion.

The University acknowledges the right to strike is lawful and staff who participate in lawful strike action are entitled to do so. However, the University’s principle is to continue business as usual and staff will not be paid while they are on strike.

Strike action FAQ

When is the strike happening?

Currently the strike is a four-hour work stoppage on Thursday 6 October from 1pm to 5pm.

What is the University’s approach to strike action?

The University is committed to continuing to teach, research and to serve its communities.  We also work to minimise any negative effects on students and staff as far as possible. 

 Who can strike?

As the intended strike action is in relation to collective bargaining for the University of Auckland Academic and Professional Staff Collective Agreements only Academic and Professional staff who are members of the TEU or PSA, under the applicable coverage clause of each Collective Agreement and for whom the TEU and/or the PSA are currently bargaining can strike. Non-union staff, staff who are members of other unions and TEU and PSA members employed under a different collective agreement cannot lawfully strike at this time.

 What if I do not want to strike?

The strike notices issued by the TEU and PSA are given on behalf of all of their members covered by the bargaining. Therefore the University will assume all union members covered by the notice will be on strike.

We recognise that employees have the lawful right to strike and no adverse view will be taken of this.  However, previous experience suggests that for a variety of reasons there may be individuals who, whilst covered by the strike notice, do not actually participate in the strike.

Any staff who do not participate in the strike action will need to inform strike.notification@auckland.ac.nz of their intention not to strike. You should also inform your manager. Once we are advised of the exact timing of the strike we will confirm when this intention not to strike needs to be submitted so that pay is not deducted. 

Do I get paid when I am on strike?

No. There is no legal entitlement to be paid while on strike. The University will deduct salary equivalent to the duration of the strike.

What if a strike occurs when I usually take my lunch break?

As the strike notice informs the University you are on strike, you will be regarded as being on strike and not on your lunch break and therefore salary will be deducted equivalent to the duration of the strike.

What if I am on approved leave e.g. sick leave, annual leave, research and study leave when a strike occurs?

If you are on approved leave, the University will regard you as being on leave and not being on strike for the period of time the approved leave and the strike overlap. No salary deductions will be made for union members who are on approved leave. 

If I go on strike can I avoid losing any salary by making up for the time spent on strike by working additional time later in the day or week? Can the University require me to make up lost time?

The answer to both questions is no.

Can my manager try to persuade me not to go on strike and can there be other consequences if I go on strike?

No. The University recognises the lawful right to strike and therefore your manager cannot attempt to persuade you not to strike. Aside from a salary deduction, there can be no other consequences.

Covering the work of striking staff

Non striking staff who are not employed principally to do the work of a striking employee can be requested to do the work of staff on strike. New staff cannot be employed to do their work.  Staff have the right to refuse to do the work of striking staff. 

Further information or advice

Union members should contact the TEU or PSA for further information or advice.

All other staff requiring further information or advice, should contact their HR Manager or email strike.notification@auckland.ac.nz

We remain committed to bargaining constructively and in good faith with the unions and are hopeful that we will be able to find a constructive solution to address any issues through the bargaining process.