On Friday 17 May, TEU joined organisations around Aotearoa in celebrating
Pink Shirt Day and those marking the International Day Against Homophobia
Biphobia, and Transphobia, to call for an end to bullying and
discrimination in tertiary education workplaces.
This year, Pink Shirt Day held significance for TEU members and tertiary
education institutions across the country, as it came a few weeks after the
release of the TEU commissioned State of the Public Tertiary Education Sector, 2018 survey report.
The report found that 10.4% of respondents working in the sector reported
they had been bullied at least several times a month over the last twelve
months. A further 17.7% reported they had seen others bullied at least
several times a month over the same period.
Similar results for university staff in the UK were released this week
in a report that shows half of UK academics are stressed and 40% are
thinking of leaving. The UK report, similar to the NZ study, found that
frequent exclusion from decision making and a loss of control are making
university staff isolated and ill, new research shows
In the New Zealand study many comments in the report describing bullying
from management related to being pressured to take on increasing workload,
forcing academic decisions such as accepting or passing students where it
was not warranted or requiring academics to teach in areas that they had no
National President, Michael Gilchrist, says it’s crucial that leaders who
were out wearing pink shirts are serious about their daily response to the
institutional pressures and bullying in our sector.
“We also need the government to address pressures which have caused a
decline in the conditions of work and in the wellbeing of teachers and
“Change starts with critical conversations. That’s why the TEU is calling
on all those who value public tertiary education to make a pledge in
support of workers in the tertiary education sector.”
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to make your pledge
to speak up about bullying and TEU will send a copy of The State of the Public Tertiary Education Sector to share.
TEU asked branches dressed up and spoke out about bullying across the
country on Pink Shirt Day. Here’s a snapshot of the activity.