Thursday, 30 August 2007, 1:31 pm
Press Release: PPTA
Resourcing not spin
More resourcing for secondary teachers and less spin from the Ministry of Education will go along way towards settling the Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement, PPTA president Robin Duff said today.
Its first piece of spin was to suggest teachers have had pay increases of 30% since 2000. Pay increases have been between 19.7 and 21.9%, roughly the rate of inflation.
“The 30% is a false figure based on total average earnings* that the Ministry will not use during bargaining so why is it using that figure in the public?”
“The second piece of spin is to use 2000 as a baseline for teacher salaries when an alternative disputes resolution panel found in 2002 that teachers had been grossly underpaid. That panel awarded teachers a salary catch up 12% well in excess of the government’s offer of 3%.
“A Ministerial Taskforce in 2003 said that teacher salaries should keep pace with other workers.
“PPTA’s claim is simply a catch up and maintains salary rates against inflation and other wage and salary earners, as suggested by the Ministerial Taskforce.
“It’s not just about pay though. It’s about improving conditions to attract and retain the very best teachers, reducing class sizes so that every student has adequate time with their teacher, encouraging more people into senior and middle management roles and supporting the part-timers in our schools.
“The claim moves towards restoring some of the recruitment and retention gains made by the arbitrated ADR settlement in 2003 but will not meet the recruitment demands of the current employment market for skilled graduates and trades people.
“It is a very reasonable and very fair claim. It does not include compensation for the more demanding work for classroom teachers generated by the introduction of the NCEA and other government initiatives, or for the failure of the government and the ministry to address the problems of secondary teacher workload identified by the ACER report (2004).
“The disingenuous comments made by the Ministry today will simply have got teachers backs up.”
* Basically this includes teachers who have gained extra qualifications, thus moving up the pay scale, and teachers who take on extra responsibilities and thus receive management units and allowances. The number of MU's etc have increased, but this doesn't help the pay rate of the average classroom teacher.
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