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Tertiary staff suffering under National

New survey results from the Tertiary Education Union of more than a thousand sector staff members show wellbeing is in decline and stress levels are up under National which ultimately leads to students suffering, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.

“The results show academic and general staff working in tertiary institutions feel workloads, stress, and staff wellbeing has got worse while there’s reports of staff being pressured to pass failing students to meet National’s required targets.

“It’s also concerning to see 66 per cent of university staff saying there’s more pressure to admit students into programmes without prerequisites or adequate prior experience.

“The increased work load is also causing serious concern as the number of hours staff are expected to work has gotten worse for 58 per cent. The amount of extra hours needed to work in the evenings or the weekend was worse for 64 per cent.

“The fact 70 percent of the respondents say the tertiary working environment is less conducive now to staff wellbeing than 10 years ago is a big concern.

“The fact reported stress levels are higher than the average New Zealander with a rating of seven out of 10 – compared to the average New Zealander of 5.5 – shows National is failing to recognise and react appropriately to the increased workload.

“The survey confirms tertiary staff are suffering under National who appear more concerned with making money rather than providing quality education.

“Tertiary Education Minister Paul Goldsmith must start listening to staff and students before our international reputation for providing world-class education is ruined.

“The report confirms the horror stories around tertiary staff being overworked. Labour would work hard to ensure a safer, happier workplace where wellbeing is considered a priority,” says Chris Hipkins.