More than 100 tutors at NorthTec are taking industrial action after knocking back a $1000 pay increase and a proposal for part-time work, calling on their employer to put a decent offer on the table.

The Tertiary Education Union (TEU) and NorthTec have been negotiating collective agreements for 125 tutors since August last year and the teaching staff decided to go take industrial action this week.

They are not taking attendance rosters and not entering or helping with entering marks/grades into the system.

The action will continue until February 28 and TEU advocate Jill Jones said tutors may take further action if issues under negotiation remained unresolved.

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"The strike action is to disrupt operation but not to impact on students' learning. Tutors want their employer to show them respect and put a decent pay offer on the table."

Jones said TEU is asking for a 3 per cent pay rise but NorthTec is offering a $1000 salary increase and also for the union to support a proposal for some full-time tutors to work part-time.

"Obviously we can't support that. In any case, $1000 is not adequate for some of the lowest paid academic staff in the tertiary education sector who've had years of very low pay rises."

She claims although NorthTec says it puts its success on its ākonga (students) and the team, the pay offers year in, year out weren't evident of the management living up to those values.

"This disruptive action can easily be avoided if the employer comes to the table with a pay offer that shows they value the hard work staff put in every day at NorthTec," Jones said.

In a short statement, NorthTec chief executive Wayne Jackson said the polytechnic was disappointed in the partial withdrawal of duties by some staff but has systems in place to ensure minimal impact on students.

He said NorthTec remained open to engage with staff when industrial action ended.