Communications Bulletin 4 June 2021
Firstly a reminder about the scholarships available for ConSTANZ. These close on 25th June.
Here are the links to the Application forms There are explanatory notes and then the Application form itself.
Get Me To ConSTANZ https://forms.gle/zMGsggqwjvzXkywc9
The links are be accessible from the STANZ website as well.
Next a reminder about the early bird Registration for the conference itself. The cut -off date here is 30th June.
Next week (8-11 June) is Support Staff Appreciation Week. I know not all schools make as much of this as we deserve.
Finally do keep thinking about possible nominations for the STANZ Executive for the next term. Ther will be a forma call for these before too long.
Communications and Health and Safety Officer.
President’s Report April 2021 AGM
It has been another funny start to the year this year, with Auckland already having two lock down periods due to the Covid-19 outbreak in Papatoetoe. The disruption has definitely had flow on effects for us, delaying assessments and distracting students. Fingers crossed that we have seen the last of this for a while!
At the time of writing this report, I have no news on the new Safety and Science document. However, I am due to attend the NZASE Council meeting in a couple of weeks where I hope we will all receive an update and hopefully some good news regarding a release date.
As you will be aware from my recent updates on scitech talk, our Pay Equity Claim appears to be progressing quite rapidly. Our contact on the Pay Equity team at NZEI is keeping us informed and we are even being contacted by the Ministry of Education’s Pay Equity team. I take this as a good sign that our claim is being treated seriously. Please remember, if you haven’t already done so, to see your Payroll Officer at your school to ensure that you are under the new pay roll code for Science Technicians. As always, the Executive team will keep you informed whenever we receive any updates.
Unfortunately, a longstanding member of the STANZ Executive Committee, Terry Price, resigned from the Committee in February. Terry’s workload at school has increased to the point where he can no longer fulfil both roles. We are very sad to see him go. Terry’s long and dedicated service to STANZ has resulted in our electronic newsletter format, scitech talk, our new and updated Constitution and so much more. We have been very lucky to have had him as long as we did. We wish Terry all the best in his future endeavours.
This year is conference year, which means it is also STANZ Executive Committee election year! We are looking for Science Technicians who want to play a role in developing our organisation into the best form that it can be. Personally, serving on the STANZ Executive Committee has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. You get to work with a fantastic group of people who all have the same goal as you and that is to help promote Science Technicians in New Zealand, work towards getting them better and safer working conditions, better pay and provide access to relevant professional development opportunities. To do all of this, we need you! If you are interested in standing for election but want to know more, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team members.
I am getting very excited about ConSTANZ21! I’ve only been to Christchurch once before and that was about 2 years after the quakes. I am looking forward to exploring the city and seeing what the amazing Conference Committee have organised for us. So if you haven’t already, make sure you apply for your Professional Development funding asap!
Communications Bulletin – Members Update Aug 2020
To the STANZ membership:
New Funding Available:
STANZ (Inc.) is pleased to announce it is now able to fund individual members to attend short courses (1 or 2 days in length), up to a maximum of $500 or to 50% of the course cost, whichever is greater. The criteria and application process for this new funding is explained in the link below:
The deadline for contributions to our special 100th edition of Tech Tonic is Sunday 13 September.
Communications Officer | Science Technicians’ Association of NZ
Communications Bulletin – Members Update May 2020
Our Term 2 Communications Report from the Executive Committee includes discussion from our Executive meeting held via zoom on 6th April and the STANZ Annual General Meeting(AGM) held this year on April 28 also via zoom.
New Safety and Science document.
Progress is slow but still being made on this important safety document. Final sign off from the Ministry of Education is still some time away.
NZEI pay claim
The NZEI pay claim on behalf of School Science Technicians is going to be a long process. Consultation has started. Chris Walker, a lead negotiator joined our Executive meeting and explained the negotiation process for a pay claim.
Executive committee elections in 2021
Members are encouraged to think about standing for Executive committee elections in 2021.
We have been given tutorials from Niacan, a company run by Jeanette Price, a former School Science Technician. The tutorials are now on our website: Niacan diy tutorials
We currently have 390 registered members using our discussion forum. Please be mindful that paid content or copyright material is not to be posted on the forum.
Communications Officer | Science Technicians’ Association of NZ
President’s Report April 2020
President’s Report April 2020
It has been a bit of an unusual start to the year with the covid-19 outbreak constantly in the news and with the announcement this week of the World Health Organisation’s declaration of a pandemic. On the Technician front, it seems that we have all had quite a busy start to our year with Senior practical internal assessments starting early.
The start of this year has been quite challenging for me personally with health, family and work issues taking up a lot of my attention and leaving me with little time to work on STANZ projects. I am hopeful that these challenges will be easing off as the year progresses and I can get back on track. I would like to thank Monique and Jane in particular for their support during this time.
As announced on scitech talk a couple of weeks ago, progress has been made on the new Safety and Science document which will replace our now obsolete Code of Practice and Guidance to the Code of Practice. The document has been sent back to the writing team for editing and will then need to go back to the legal teams at WorkSafe and the Ministry of Education for approval before being submitted for final sign off. Progress is slow but at least there is some progression happening.
I am hopeful that our meeting with the NZEI lead on the Pay Equity Claims for Support Staff will give us some insight into the procedures involved in our future claim. The Teacher Aids’ claim outcome should be made public very soon and we can only hope that this will have a positive effect on our own claim. I would like to include a push for improvements in our working conditions from a Health and Safety standpoint in our claim as I am aware of many of our members who still work in unsafe conditions every day with no dangerous goods cabinets, no active ventilation etc.
I have been in discussion with WorkSafe regarding some changes they have made to the definition of a laboratory, which I will discuss in further detail at our meeting.
As next year is conference year and thus election year, I would like everyone on the Executive Committee to start actively encouraging fellow Science Technicians to stand for election next year. It was encouraging that we had enough applicants to run an actual election last year and I would like to see a repeat of that next year, with particular emphasis on South Island Technicians and Technicians from Northland if we can manage it. I would really like to see these areas better represented.
Planning seems to be well underway for ConSTANZ21 with the notification from the Conference Committee’s Secretary of the date and venue for next year’s conference.
I know that we had a confusing start to this year with the change in our AGM cycle and Loomio issues but hopefully this will not be repeated. Thank you to everyone on the Committee for their patience as we worked through this.
President’s Report ConSTANZ19
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – AGM – Thursday October 10, 2019
It has been a privilege for me to be your President during this milestone 10th ConSTANZ Conference and a great source of pride to be part of a Committee that has come so far since its inception and humble beginnings in 2001. STANZ (Inc) has grown as a professional organisation that informs and educates its members. I am sure the late Peter Spratt of the Royal Society would be proud of the Association we have become.
I thank the hardworking and dedicated conference team, under the guidance of Jane Lieshout and Lesley Stephens, who have brought ConSTANZ19 to life for us in Wellington.
As was in the beginning, we still have challenges, from pay disparity discussions, to Code of Practice frustrations and working conditions. However, as the years have passed, the voice of STANZ (Inc) has grown considerably stronger enabling us to have active participation in discussions that are relevant to us.
It was very pleasing to have so many people stand for The Executive this year allowing us to hold an election.
It must be said that the Executive was disappointed in the low number of people who voted. The voting process that we used was simple and quick, yet still less than half of the registered members had their say.
Nevertheless, the standard of nominees was exceptional, and we have a new Committee that is strong and focussed. It is especially pleasing to see continuing South Island representation.
As happy as I am to gain new and enthusiastic members to the Executive, it does sadden me to lose the talents of both Ann Brimmer and Sheryl Fitzsimons this year. Both ladies have made invaluable contributions to STANZ (Inc) and their presence will be missed. Ann has been editor extraordinaire of Tech Tonic and in her time as editor has built the newsletter up to an exceptionally high standard. Sheryl farewells us as Past President, having served a term as President from 2015-2017. Prior to her Presidency she served as Treasurer and has been a committee member since 2013. Sheryl has made valuable contributions to the running of STANZ(Inc) and has streamlined many processes. Sheryl has had her finger on the pulse on many governing issues. I thank you both for you years of voluntary service and wish you well in your ‘retirements’.
STANZ has been delighted to have been able to increase the number of scholarships available to its members and we had a record number of applicants this year, especially for the fully funded ‘STANZ Get Me To ConSTANZ’ scholarship. Congratulations to all the worthy recipients.
The process of re-writing the Constitution has been finalised and will be ratified by the members at this AGM. It has been a demanding task but the results will see us better in line with pending government regulations.
Pay equity campaigns discussions are continuing and STANZ will keep you informed of any progress for Science Technicians as it comes to hand.
Regrettably, there is still no final word on the re-write of ‘Safety in Science’. Promised deadlines have come and gone with regrettably no final date set. Our Advocacy and Health and Safety Officer, Arwen Heyworth, has been heavily involved with the re-write and has tried to ensure that our technician needs have been met in the new document. The writers have handed in their sections and the document has been passed on to proof readers and editors. Once it has been proofed, it will be passed onto the Ministry of Education and WorkSafe for approval. All this is likely to take some time and a 2019 release date now looks very unlikely.
We hope the new document will stand up to the task.
Issues with chemical tracking and the lack of reticulated gas in new buildings have also arisen sharply this year. Our Health and Safety Officers, Jane and Arwen, have dealt with many of these and we look to provide clarity to both those issues in the next term.
Finally, as my tenure as President winds up, I would like to thank the Executive for their support, wisdom and encouragement over the last two years. I would also like to thank those of you who have emailed me to say thanks or even just hello. Your words were always very welcomed and definitely appreciated.
I have learnt much and have thoroughly enjoyed my time as President and I look forward to working with the new Executive in the Past President role.
I know the new Executive Committee will continue their high standard of work and commitment to you, the members of STANZ, working with you to improve the conditions, recognition and standing of all School Science Technicians.
External Chemical Bunker regulations and Tracking Form
Tracking Form needed for External Chemical Bunkers ONLY
Under the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substance) regulations 2017 Regulation 1.11 subclause (2), laboratories are exempt from certain provisions of the regulations if they meet the conditions in Regulation 18.2 except as provided in Part 18. Laboratories in which hazardous substances are used and stored for the purposes of teaching, meet the exemption criteria.
A laboratory is officially defined in 2.1 of http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1996/0030/latest/DLM381228.html#DLM381228 which means a vehicle, room, building, or any other structure set aside and equipped for scientific experiments or research, for teaching science, or for the development of chemical or medicinal products.
Therefore school laboratories are NOT required to have a person with a Certified Handler Certification. An EXCEPTION to this is if you store or use any class 6.1A (e.g. bromine) or 6.1B (e.g. potassium dichromate) substance or any class 6.1 substance that requires a controlled substance licence, in an external Dangerous Goods/Chemical store or bunker. The exemption provided to school laboratories in Regulation 18.9 (Handling, packaging, and storage of approved hazardous substances Sub-clause 2) does not apply to External Dangerous Goods Bunkers/Chemical Stores as they are seen to be outside of the laboratory.
Schools with an external Dangerous Goods/Chemical store or bunker are required to follow all parts of the Regulations without exemptions when it comes to the hazardous substances stored in the external Dangerous Goods/Chemical store or bunker. Please see Schedule 26 Table 1 and Table 2 for the list of substances that require tracking.
If you are unsure whether your Dangerous Goods/Chemical store or bunker is considered to be external to the laboratories, please refer to Regulation 11.1 and Regulation 11.29 for further information.
Please find a link to a tracking form template created from the specs supplied by WorkSafe NZ and the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substance) regulations 2017.
See our open-access T1 edition of Tech Tonic for a recent report from our President
School Exempt Laboratory letter
As promised, there is now a link to an Exempt Laboratory letter template on our ‘Suppliers’ page.
You can use this to satisfy Chemical Suppliers that your school does not require a Hazardous Substances Certified Handler.