Two people have been made redundant at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology and another 10 jobs are on the line following a restructure.
The polytechnic is reorganising its academic structure, from seven faculties to three and proposing to disestablishing 40.2 full-time equivalent roles but establishing 30 full-time equivalent roles in the form of nine associate deans and 21 academic leader roles.
Phase one of the restructure took place last Wednesday and two faculty leaders, who work across multiple campuses, were made redundant as a result.
Phase two is currently in the middle of a 20-day consultation process. The second phase sees more jobs cut.
Toi Ohomai could not confirm how many as the consultation process was still underway but the proposal is for the disestablishment of all 16.3 full-time equivalent existing group manager positions and all 23.9 full-time equivalent existing programme manager positions at the polytech.
Toi Ohomai chief executive Dr Leon Fourie said the decision to reduce the number of management positions at the polytech was found to be necessary after consultation with staff and stakeholders.
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology was formed in 2016 as the result of a merger between the then Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Waiariki Institute of Technology.
At the time of the merger Toi Ohomai had nearly 7000 equivalent full-time students (EFTS) and Toi Ohomai chose to maintain a total of seven faculties to minimise disruption to students among other things.
"Unfortunately, our EFTS have decreased year on year from that time. In 2018 we achieved less than 5900 EFTS, and this downward trend is continuing into 2019 with a forecast of approximately 5800 at year-end," Fourie said.
"This situation, combined with rising costs, has put significant pressure on the organisation's ability to meet its financial obligations and to deliver viable and sustainable educational programmes, through seven faculties, throughout our region."
This resulted in the disestablishment of seven faculty leader and seven faculty operations manager roles, and the creation of three new faculty deans and three new faculty operations manager roles, which are aligned to the new faculties.
The three new faculties will be Faculty of Trades and Primary Industries, Faculty of Health, Social and Natural Sciences, and Faculty of Business, Design and Service Industries.
They replace the Faculty of Business Management and Legal Studies, Faculty of Community Wellbeing and Development, Faculty of Education, Health, Nursing and Social Services, Faculty of Engineering, Creative, Technology and Infrastructure, Faculty of Primary Industries, Science and Environment, Faculty of Tourism, Hospitality and Services Industries and the Faculty of Trades and Logistics.
Toi Ohomai has not reduced any of the current or future courses as part of this process and all current programmes of study will be arranged within the three new faculties.
In a statement, Toi Ohomai confirmed the restructure was not connected to the national merger of all 16 of New Zealand's institutes of technology and polytechnics announced earlier this year.
This restructure was scheduled in 2017 to see if the structure put in place at the time of the merger was still fit for purpose, Fourie said.
"We must ensure our students have access to the highest-quality training and education services in areas our community needs, while also remaining financially viable.
"The reality is that reorganising our faculties and faculty management structures to reflect our current size was necessary.
"As with other New Zealand institutes of technology and polytechnics, we've had to accept that an increase in student numbers hasn't materialised over time and this is for a variety of reasons, many out of our control."
Existing faculty leaders Bart Vosse, Jeni Fountain and Brian Dillon have taken on the new faculty dean positions and will officially take up their new roles on November 1.
Vosse, the new faculty dean of business, design and service industries, said the new leadership team was excited about co-designing the academic structure while ensuring there was as little impact on teaching staff as possible.
"We will continue our open communication policy as we move forward and will be keeping staff informed and supported through these changes.
"It is important to note that we have not reduced our programmes on offer - learners will not be impacted and enrolments continue as per normal."
In May last year, after consultation with staff, it was decided to reduce 17.7 FTE across six faculties and several campuses.
Tertiary Education Union spokeswoman Megan Morris said the proposal could be okay although it was still early days.
"It's not horrific, more reshaping and renaming. Hopefully not too many people will be forced out."
Student Pulse president Emire Khan-Malak said the restructure was a sensitive subject for staff but declined to comment due to it being a Toi Ohomai administrative issue.
The Tertiary Education Union branch presidents were approached for comment but could not be reached.
The proposal (which is currently under a consultation process) would have the following immediate impact
- Disestablishment of all 16.3 full-time equivalent existing group manager positions.
- Disestablishment of all 23.9 full-time equivalent existing programme manager positions. Including programme managers with proportional positions
- The teaching allocation remains available as a partial full-time equivalent position for the employee.
In an earlier version of the story, it stated 40 jobs could be lost. It has since been updated.