Ministry stonewalling over G3 equivalent teachers
The PPTA will enter mediation with the Ministry of Education next week in an attempt to resolve a dispute over G3 equivalent teachers.
G3 equivalent teachers are teachers whose qualifications, training and service – though not degrees - have been awarded degree equivalent status.
PPTA president Jen McCutcheon said the association sought mediation after reaching an impasse with the Ministry which was refusing to honour previous arrangements for G3 equivalent teachers entered into in good faith.
“We have had several meetings with the Ministry and quite clearly we are hitting our heads against a brick wall. The Ministry is trying to undermine the just claims of G3 equivalent teachers by deliberately misunderstanding the issue.”
Mrs McCutcheon said the terms of agreement of the new secondary teachers’ collective contract clearly confirmed the ADR panel’s recommendation that the parties meet in good faith to resolve the issues surrounding Step 14 and G3 equivalents.
In addition, the Government had made a public commitment to abide by the ADR panel’s recommendations. However, the Ministry of Education appeared unwilling to do the same.
She said the PPTA wanted to resolve the G3 issue as soon as possible. Mediation was the first step and if that failed, the Association would request the panel to reconvene.
“The panel demonstrated its willingness to reconvene if we could not resolve this issue with the Ministry. Clearly, the panel did not intend this group of members to be disadvantaged and nor do we.”
Mrs McCutcheon said she found the Ministry’s approach extraordinary given the panel’s statement that it was ‘strongly of the view that the secondary sector needs an extended period of stability in employment relations’.
“This is quite simply sour
grapes from the Ministry and under the current employment
relations legislation, unbelievable. To create division on
the back of nearly 18 months of industrial dispute is