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Too Little Too Late For Secondary Teachers

10 June 2002

Secondary school teachers have rejected the Government’s latest pay offer.

In a ballot of members last week 74.5 percent - 8,346 members - voted against ratification of the proposed collective agreement, 25.5 percent - 2,862 members - voted for it. Voter turnout was high with more than 82 percent of members voting.

PPTA president Jen McCutcheon said the result was an indication of the level of anger and disappointment secondary teachers felt at the amount of money they were offered.

“This is a vote against the Government and its pay offer, not against the PPTA executive. PPTA executive had a responsibility to take this package to members to vote on. Members have decided it’s not good enough, so we will be going back to the negotiating table,” Mrs McCutcheon said.

“It really is a case of too little too late from the Government. If they had offered this package earlier it might have been ratified but secondary teachers have had to cope with a major increase in workload with the introduction of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement. That has exacerbated what was already an intolerable workload. Secondary teachers are extremely overworked and underpaid.”

“The PPTA Executive is meeting today to decide the next course of action. Naturally we would want to go back into negotiations as soon as possible.’

“The low level action that was in place before the proposed settlement was taken to members is back on. That means the day relief ban, the out-of-hours meetings ban and non-compliance with NCEA Level 1 are reinstated. Further escalating action is being discussed at today’s executive meeting.”

“It is extremely important, however, that we get this collective agreement settled. It has dragged on long enough. Our members will be keen to see this resolved, its up to the Government now to demonstrate that they consider secondary teachers worthy of a decent salary package. Reshaping the package won’t work, resizing it will,” Mrs McCutcheon said.


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