Are you an early career academic? Have you been precariously employed at a New Zealand university over the past year?

The TEU, in conjunction with the New Zealand Union of Students Associations (NZUSA), the Tertiary Education Action Group (TEAGA), and other stakeholders, is sponsoring a team of early career researchers from the Universities of Auckland and Waikato to research insecure employment in Aotearoa universities to ‘inform advocacy, policy, and ongoing research into precarious academic work.’

Principal Investigator, Dr Sereana Naepi, is concerned that precarious workers in our universities are increasingly used to conduct the very things that make us a university: teaching and research. ‘This is something we need to question and engage with and ask ourselves if the increased use of a precariat aligns with our role as critic and conscience. This survey aims to bring to light the reality of precarious work in our universities. Many of us know a graduate or doctoral candidate who is working increased hours or on a never-ending string of short-term contracts struggling to afford increased living costs.’

‘Those of us who benefit from stable employment by our universities have a responsibility to advocate to those we train and mentor to ensure that they also experience stable employment, whether in universities or the wider research sector as a whole.’

TEU National Secretary Sandra Grey says ‘the casualisation of tertiary education is a long-term problem our union has been campaigning about for many years. Far too many employers in our sector are exploiting young intellectual workers for cheap ‘disposable’ labour, happy in the knowledge that they can always find graduates desperate for a foothold into academia.’

‘We are proud to support this research and look forward to the findings informing our work with the other stakeholders as we strive to ensure that all academic work is valued fairly.’

To participate in the survey, click here.