How to recruit

‘Nobody asked me!’

– That’s the single biggest reason people give for not having joined a union. And the best people to recruit new members are the TEU members working alongside them. The beginning of the academic year is a great time to be asking potential new union members if they have thought about joining TEU.

Why recruiting is essential

One of the most vital jobs for a union delegate, organiser or keen member, is to recruit new members.

Organised workplaces with a high density of union membership means TEU will have much greater power to achieve our goals.

Members will have a stronger sense of confidence and ability to change things, together with much higher chances of winning recognition.

They will have more delegates, health and safety representatives and workplace contacts who run the union locally and ensure that the branch is truly representative and democratic.

All of this means that the union will have greater influence both locally and nationally, which helps TEU campaign to improve public tertiary education, and for better pay, leave and working conditions.

The union will have greater stability. The more members we have locally, the greater income the branch has to provide support for you in your job – and the less need we have to increase union fees!

Remember that it is particularly important to recruit young members if TEU is to grow and be strong in the future.

Recruiting new members

Recruiting is easier than it sounds.

Research shows that the main reason people in New Zealand do not join unions is simply that no one has asked them. Recruiting is most successful if done by colleagues and fellow workers, which is why every member should be a recruiter.

The TEU offers lots of great services and has a team of highly experienced and respected staff, but our most valuable resource is the power of its members working collectively together for a shared goal.

You can download membership forms and other recruitment material from the TEU website. Or,even more easily, people can join on line at

If you’re not sure how to start recruiting ask your local organiser for advice. Good luck!

Simple resources to help recruit new TEU members

Now is a great time to be recruiting new members to TEU. The more members we have, the more influence we have both locally and nationally. This helps TEU campaign to improve public tertiary education, and for better pay, leave and working conditions.

But, before you begin recruiting, you might need some basic information to share with the potential new members at your workplace.

1. Four reasons why you should join TEU:

  • You’ll earn more at a unionised workplace – Each year the TEU wins pay rises for our members. Statistics show that where workplaces are well unionised salaries are higher.
  • You’re more likely to get fair pay – TEU is campaigning to bring women’s pay and employment conditions into line with those of men. Many TEU members are women. Equitable pay and employment for women means better jobs for all tertiary education workers – men and women.
  • You get more holidays and leave – Thanks to the TEU workers in universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics have significantly better leave entitlements than New Zealand minimums.
  • You can help keep our tertiary education system public – TEU campaigns for public ownership and control of our tertiary education system so it benefits all New Zealand staff and students, not just those who want to make a profit off tax-payer funded services.

2. How much it costs to join:

The annual subscription to join the TEU is 0.8% of a member’s salary up to a maximum of $712 per year. That is only about $13.69 a week, or the price of magazine and coffee. Try this calculator to work out what your TEU subscription is likely to be. Subscriptions are generally paid by automatic salary deduction, but can be paid by other methods if necessary.

3. Recent news from the union:

Have a few copies of Tertiary Update or Kua Rangona handy to show potential new members some of the issues TEU is involved in around the country.

4. Other information

Other information people might want includes membership benefits, the historystructure and constitution of  TEU and a list of TEU people.

5. And of course…

The join up form is available here on our website.