Communications Report June 2022
Tēnā koutou katoa, nau mai haere mai to the latest communications bulletin.
It is with some regret that I announce to you the resignation of Ian de Stigter, our Advocacy Officer.
Ian has decided to step down from this role after many years of serving the Technician Community, years spent striving to better our conditions, our standing and our recognition.
Ian’s contributions, his research and comprehensive reports have gone a long way towards aiming to achieve the above.
On behalf of the Executive, I thank Ian for his dedication, passion and commitment in furthering the cause of School Science Technicians and for his valuable and knowledgeable contributions whilst on the STANZ committee.
We will miss you and your input at our meetings but also realise that you are just an email away…….
Ian would like to share his resignation letter with you all.
I have resigned my advocacy role on the STANZ executive. I am mindful of the support and encouragement of executive members, and of other science technicians. Some will be surprised, and perhaps disappointed, that I have not seen out my 2-year term. Since 2006, I have made efforts to improve the prospects for members of our professional group, by collecting and interpreting data about science technicians working in schools. In 2019, when I stood for STANZ Executive, I imagined continuing there in an advocacy role until our Pay Equity Claim succeeds. However, with the long-awaited publication of Safety & Science in November last year, I have recently been able to finish my study on Science Technicians as Lab Managers. I think this is my last contribution to the science technician advocacy data. Moreover, NZEI has expressed a preference to liaise with the STANZ executive through a female member. I haven’t thought that my gender has impeded an objective assessment of the roles and employment of our professional group. I concede, however, that NZEI has a point: my wife could attest that I don’t think like woman! Since nearly 90% of our members are women, I may not be best-placed to represent their views. So, it seems to me appropriate to now step down, and in doing so, express my strong confidence in Sheryl Fitzsimons – both an NZEI insider, and STANZ executive member – who has picked up this liaison role, and is able to well-represent our professional group for Pay Equity purposes.
Ian de Stigter
Safety & Science Update from NZASE:
I have recently attended the NZASE AGM and Meeting where the workshops for the new Safety and Science were discussed.
Apologies were given for the slowness in communicating the dates and contents of the workshops.
This has now been addressed and further information can be found by clicking the links below.
The workshops will consist of 45 minutes of information with time at the end for questions. They will be via zoom with a maximum of 100 people able to attend each session. NZASE expressed surprise at the popularity of the workshops. That just reinforces the need for them.
NZASE will also present at Conference so there will be a learning opportunity there as well.
Below are the times for the workshops. Please note there are also workshops for Principals and teachers but I have not included those here.
FULL no further space – Technician, Tuesday 5 July, 8:30-9:30 am
FULL no further space – Lab Manager/HoD, Friday 8 July, 12:00-1:00 pm
Technician, Thursday 28 July, 12:00-1:00 pm
Lab Manager/HoD, Wednesday 3 August, 4-5pm
Please remember these are being run voluntarily by teachers and technicians with no funding from the Ministry at all. A huge thank you and much appreciation to all those involve in making this happen.
Also note that your school does not have to be an NZASE member to participate in these workshops.
Changing your details?
If you are needing to change any of your details, be they change of Technician, change of address, change of school, change to subscription to Scitechtalk or Tech Tonic, change of name or maybe you are resigning please use the membership form on the website to do this.
Just a reminder that it is not appropriate to share any paid for information via the forum. There are copyright issues with this and we may be held accountable. Examples of this might be information from CLEAPSS, Chemwatch or similar. These are organisations which require an annual subscription to be paid so information from them should not be shared.
It is encouraging to read that so many of you are turning to AC before asking questions on the forum.
Thank you again to Melaina McClure for keeping this updated.
A big thanks to you all for contributing to the forum and especially recently with some new techies being helped so quickly and ably by you. Your short, concise and informative answers are appreciated.
The Conference Committee have been very busy of late. They have announced some exciting scholarship opportunities for eligible recipients and Registrations have now opened.
It’s also great to get the news that the Boarding Hostel is now available as well. Please see the Conference website for more details.
Our delayed Conference promises informative and beneficial workshops, interesting speakers and educational field trips.
If you haven’t already made plans to attend, I urge you to encourage your HOD’s to support your application.
It is not long to go until the end of term so may I take this opportunity to wish you all a relaxing and revitalising break.
Kia pai tō koutou rā
Communications Report February 2022
STANZ would like to announce the date for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) this year. It will be held Monday April 11. Times and venue will be announced closer to the time and you are all invited to attend. Covid Rules at the time may mean we will need to hold the meeting via Zoom. We had to do this last year and although not ideal, it was successful. We will keep you informed.
If you wish to have a remit considered for presentation at the upcoming AGM, then the required information must be sent to the STANZ Secretary; Janice Deverick.
Remits must be received by February 25, 2022.
Her email address is [email protected]
See details for submitting a remit in this link: STANZ Remit Policy
As I write, our much-awaited Conference is still happening in Christchurch this year. Should there be any changes, the Conference committee will keep us well informed.
As required by law, the Executive will be reviewing the Constitution this year. As a result of this process there may be recommendations for changes to the Constitution.
You will be informed of any proposed changes. These will need to be approved and voted on before they can be enacted.
CHANGE OF DETAILS:
If there have been any changes to your details, or you are a new or leaving technician, please fill in the membership form. This will help keep our records up to date.
You can find the membership form here or go to the website.
SAFETY AND SCIENCE DOCUMENT:
Thank you to all who have taken the time to contribute to the page that was created to record any mistakes, omissions and questions regarding the new Safety And Science Document.
It is unfortunate that there are still errors in this much revised edition. STANZ wants to keep on top of this so if you see anything in the document that is unclear, badly worded or even just plain wrong, please add your concerns to the document. This will help us address all your concerns.
Click here here to go straight to the document or you can fill it out in the password protected section of the website.
KAY MEMMOTT AWARD:
The Kay Memmott Award for Excellence is awarded to a technician to acknowledge their hard work in their field. Be it working hard for other technicians, showing excellence in their endeavours to their colleagues or they may be that person that can be contacted in a hurry for advice.
This person may be someone who goes the extra mile for local technicians – they may organise the local meetings. They may also be active in promoting science outside their schools to local community groups for example.
As this is a Conference Year, we are looking for a deserving recipient for this award. I invite you to put your thinking caps on for the technician who you think meets all the criteria. Nominations will be opened in Term 2.
Wishing you all a smooth term despite the trying conditions most of us will face.
If you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact any one of the committee members.
Contact details are available via the website.
STANZ Communications Officer
Communications Report End of Year 2021
Hello everyone and welcome to the last Communications Report for the year. And what a year it has been!
Our Auckland technicians especially, you deserve a huge pat on the back for what have been challenging and unprecedented times.
I’d like to remind you of your Executive Committee for 2021-2023
President – Arwen Heyworth – Onehunga High School, Auckland
Past President – Communications – Monique Arts – John Paul College, Rotorua
Secretary – Janice Deverick – Alfriston College, Auckland
Treasurer – Jane Lieshout – St Patrick’s College, Wellington
Health and Safety – Sarah Garner – Kamo High School, Whangarei
Advocacy – Ian de Stigter (Mt Grammar, Auckland) and Sheryl Fitzsimmons (Nelson College For Girls)
Newsletter Editor and Web site Manager – Jasmine Harrison – St Andrew’s College, Christchurch.
A very warm welcome to the new members of the Executive. They add to an already strong and focussed team whose combined skills and specialities will serve us well as we head into 2022 with all its upcoming challenges.
As you know, the new Safety and Science Document has been published in an on line version only.
I encourage you to please take the time to read this and leave any feedback on the google sheet.
Links to both documents are below.
STANZ will endeavour to ensure that any concerns will be acted upon.
I also would like to take this opportunity to thank David Cook for his continuing support to Technicians after his retirement. He remained on scitech talk after his retirement as he offered to monitor Accumulated Wisdom for us until a replacement had been found. Although this has not happened as yet, he felt that it was definitely time to move on and he has decided to remove himself from the forum. Thank you, David, for all your wisdom, support and advice over many years. Time to properly retire.
So it just remains for me, on behalf of your Executive Committee to wish you all the best for Christmas and the New Year. Sit back, relax and enjoy the holidays doing what you love doing and we look forward to a fresh and reinvigorated start to 2022.
Meri Kirihimete ki te katoa
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.