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Ratification at last!

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Media Release

29 August 2002

Ratification at last!

Secondary teachers today voted overwhelmingly to ratify Alternative Disputes Resolution panel recommendations that will give them pay increases of between six and 12 per cent on top of the government’s original 3.5 per cent offer over two years.

In a ballot of PPTA members this week, 88 per cent voted for the proposed collective agreement while 12 per cent voted against ratification. Voter turnout was high with approximately three-quarters of members voting.

The deal brings a new entry step and an extra step (step 14) for secondary teachers with at least a three-year bachelor’s degree and one year teacher training qualification. All secondary teachers will receive a three and a half percent pay rise now and another three percent from July 2003.

Ratification brings to a close nearly a year and a half of industrial negotiation.

“The feeling I have today is one of relief. It has been a difficult, protracted and often bitter process to get to where we are,” PPTA president Jen McCutcheon said today.

“I want to acknowledge the resolve of all our members over the past 18 months and their determination to achieve a satisfactory settlement. I also would like to thank principals and boards of trustees for their tremendous support throughout the campaign.”

Mrs McCutcheon said it was important that the Ministry Taskforce on Secondary Teacher Remuneration – to report by October 2003 - built on the platform laid by the ADR panel.

“Many members have told me that their workload is overwhelming. We know that there is still a lot of work to do to recruit good teachers and keep them in the profession.”

She said that the PPTA’s immediate priority was to resolve any uncertainty surrounding the status of teachers with G3 equivalent qualifications.

“We want to assure teachers that we have a process in the collective agreement to sort this out in an equitable way as soon as possible. We also welcome the expertise of the panel in helping to resolve these issues.”

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