Lecturers at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand have voted to take industrial action.
It comes after the polytechnic wanted to cut academic staff research and development time in half, from 30 to 15 days.
Union organiser Phil Dyhrberg says lecturers want to be experts in their field, and cutting research time makes that harder, and will undermine the quality of education students receive.
"Research and development time is absolutely important to informing the ongoing teaching and obviously the betterment of those students studying at the Open Polytechnic."
Mr Dyhrberg says it's the sticking point in bargaining for a new collective agreement.
He says union members aren't telling the polytechnic what kind of industrial action they'll take, but it could include withholding student marks, working to rule, and lightning strikes.
"We believe such a plain from the employer is without good reason and in fact the employer has not been able to give us a satisfactory reason at the bargaining table for the past six months."
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