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PPTA President Told to Cut the Insults

23 September
PPTA President Told to Cut the Insults

“PPTA President Jen McCutcheon needs to stop telling half truths and insulting her own members (paying her $550 per annum) - and begin actually representing the 25% of teachers without degrees,” Martin Cooney, spokesperson for the September 20 group said today. He was responding to Ms McCutcheon’s comments on National Radio this morning in an interview with Don Roberts Head of Technology at Putaruru High School.

“The PPTA may be celebrating its 50th anniversary at this Conference but Ms McCutcheon may well be remembered as the President who split the Union,” said Mr Cooney. “She continues to sound like she is speaking for the Labour Government rather than representing those who fought for a pay rise for all - only to receive a real pay cut.”

“Many teachers have contacted our group and made it clear they will leave the Union unless their pay situation is fixed or at least the Union starts sounding like it is trying to fix it. One Branch has 8 out of 22 members in this situation, another 24 out of 65. ”

“Four weeks ago our group gave the PPTA executive till 20 September to include the Degree equivalent teachers mainly from the skills based areas in the 12.1% pay rise over three years,” said Mr Cooney. “The PPTA executive claimed it was its highest priority yet the issue has still not been solved. The Executive should never have allowed ratification of the STCA without sorting this issue out. Our group attempted a legal injunction to stop the ratification but was unable to do so. Group 1 and 2 teachers have been ignored.”

“The PPTA Executive’s response has been noteworthy for insulting comments. They told teachers where there was and often is no degree in their field of expertise to “Get a degree.” This morning the President blamed teachers for not getting their remit to Conference in on time and told them to “read the Constitution”. Yet the Executive themselves placed a changed “Optional” NCEA remit before members in one week because the Minister made it optional! The same Executive instead of making G1, G2 G3= the priority, is attempting to sideline the issue into a ‘workshop’ at Conference.”

Mr Cooney stated that the September 20 Committee meets on Wednesday evening (25/9/02) to decide our next step and that future representation was now on the agenda.

For more information: Martin Cooney 03 385 2126

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