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Offer Seems Below Teachers’ Expectations

4 July 2002

The Government’s latest offer to settle the secondary teachers’ Collective Agreement has some new and worthwhile elements but seems to fall well short of secondary teachers’ expectations, PPTA president Jen McCutcheon said today.

The offer includes an NCEA payment but in the form of fixed-term salary units, instead of the previously offered NCEA Allowance. “This unit mechanism has some potential as it is less divisive than an allowance but the monetary amount - $1000 per year – just will not cut the mustard with members. It is in effect only $500 more than the May offer, which was resoundingly rejected by 75% of secondary teachers. However, our negotiators have agreed to take the offer to the Executive and we’ll respond formally on Monday.”

Mrs McCutcheon said it was good to see that the Ministry negotiators had taken on board the widespread concerns about the previously proposed NCEA Allowance, but again, the improvements on the Government’s last offer seemed to be “too little, too late.

“This country has a crisis on its hands in terms of having sufficient numbers of well- qualified and trained teachers in front of our secondary students. We are halfway through this year; unless conditions of the job are markedly improved, I shudder to think about the implications for secondary schools next year.”

“We would have desperately liked to see an offer tabled this afternoon that we could have jumped at, knowing that it would go some way towards meeting the recruitment and retention needs of the secondary sector. Sadly this doesn’t appear to be the one.”

If there is no settlement by the beginning of next term, July 15, PPTA Executive will call on rostering home of students, effective from Wednesday July 17, a ban on work associated with the development of NCEA Levels 2 and 3, and a one-day national strike on July 26th.

Ends

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