TEU negotiates improved Canterbury timetablePublish By Jane B. Hatcher Updated 02/02/2012 1:35 pm in NZ News / no comments
TEU believes new academic timetables at the University of Canterbury are much better than first drafts, after it met with two assistant vice-chancellors earlier this week.
Last week the Christchurch Press reported that academic staff were up in arms over changes to the way timetables are set, “forcing lecturers to work longer hours and through their lunch breaks”.
TEU members raised concerns about the way the timetable was cutting into family-friendly work hours, crucial to ensuring equity for staff with care-giving responsibilities. The University of Canterbury assistant vice-chancellor, academic, Hamish Cochrane said the proposed new timetabling system represented an effort by the university to reduce class clashes. The system would see a significant reduction in the number of courses that clashed and would provide students with more choice when selecting courses.
TEU representatives made a series of recommendations to the assistant vice-chancellors aimed at matching union member needs with the new timetable system, and resolving some of the problems around equity and terms and conditions of employment that members raised with TEU over the past week.
The agreed recommendations now mean that existing conventions concerning the hours during which staff are available to teach (such as family friendly hours of work) will be passed on to the timetabling team and kept on file for future iterations of the timetable. Dr Cochrane has assured the TEU that any changes to existing work conventions will be negotiated with the staff members concerned.