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G3 Document: History and PPTA's position

History of G3 and Equivalence and PPTA’s position on the 5 February 2003 translation

This document clarifies G3 and G3 Equivalence and summarises PPTA’s understanding of the Arbitration Panel’s intentions and the Association’s position in relation to who should progress to step 14 on 5 February 2003.

G3 defined

G3 is not a qualification; it is a grouping of qualifications that includes master’s and bachelor’s degrees, advanced diplomas, diplomas, advanced trade certificates with specified levels of experience, NZ Certificates and He Tohu Matauranga Maori. The grouping reflects the fact that historically there were many secondary subject areas for which the most appropriate qualification available at the time was not a university degree. Being in the G3 qualification grouping indicates that a teacher’s maximum base scale salary is the top of the salary scale.

None of the above qualifications are G3 ‘equivalent’ or ‘deemed to be equivalent to’ G3 qualifications. They are G3 qualifications and are specifically identified as such in the various qualifications charts.

G3 equivalents defined

G3 equivalent qualifications are those that do not appear on the qualifications charts. These are qualifications that have been deemed to be equivalent to those recorded in the qualifications charts. All holders of qualifications deemed to be G3 equivalent are eligible for progression to the top of the salary scale.

They include:

People who achieved equivalence through the 120-point system. Individuals who have received a letter from the Department of Education or the Ministry of Education confirming them as having G3 equivalence.

These people are recorded as G3 on their pay records. Our work with schools suggests that there are some 600 people in secondary, area and manual branches who are actually G3 equivalents. The panel’s statement that it did not wish to undermine historic agreements assures us that it intended this group of teachers to progress to step 14 on 5th February 2003. The cost of translating these people (assuming they are all full time) would be $790,000 from 5 Feb to 9 July 03 and $1.9M from July 03 to July 04.

G3 and teacher training

G3 classification gives no indication of teacher training. Teachers holding qualifications in the G3 group can be either trained or untrained. The difference is that those without teacher training would have started lower on the pay scale, but will have progressed to the top of the scale.

In the past there have been teachers who have been formally deemed to be teacher trained by the Department of Education, often twenty or more years ago. This includes those who were brought into the state system through integration and received a certificate of competence.

We would expect these past arrangements to be honoured in the transition.

We understand that the panel wishes to confine to step 13 G3 and G3 equivalent teachers who lack either teacher training or recognised teacher training equivalence. We do not contest this.

PPTA’s position on G3 and the 5th February increment

The arbitrated settlement was about resolving an existing pay dispute, not specifically about what might happen to people who were not yet members, or even part of the current teaching force.

The panel indicated that they were not seeking to change historic agreements but to identify those who met their criteria for the additional increment on 5th February 2003. The task the panel set for PPTA and the Ministry of Education was to identify those G3 equivalent teachers who would or would not be eligible for the double increment, it was not to redefine the G3 qualification group or create new subgroups within it.

The criteria we believe the panel intended would be used to identify those eligible for the 5th February translation are:

Current G3 qualifications and teacher training.

We believe that this includes:

All those who are currently holders of qualifications that are identified as G3, provided that they also hold teacher training. All those who have been officially recognised under past arrangements as having G3 equivalence.

We believe that this excludes:

All those who are currently holders of qualifications that are identified as G3 who do not also hold teacher training or its recognised equivalent. Those who hold only a three-year B.Ed or B.Teaching.

The Ministry’s Position

The Ministry chooses to maintain that in using the term G3+ (G3 plus teacher training) the panel was deliberately creating a new qualification group and meant to cover only those with both teacher training and doctorates, degrees or advanced diplomas equivalent to level 7 or higher on the new National Qualifications Framework. They maintain that no other qualification currently listed as G3, nor any G3 equivalents should be paid the increment on 5th February 2003.

The Ministry’s position would exclude approximately 1965 people who PPTA believe are eligible for the increment (including those who are ‘equivalent’). The approximate claw back from the ADR panel’s settlement costs would be $2.5M to July 03 and $6.3M from then to July 04. This includes the cost of translation of the G3 equivalents identified in paragraph 9.

The Future

Any deliberation on changes to the qualification for salary groupings, which is currently what the Ministry is seeking to do, is a matter for the future.

The redrawing of the G3 qualifications group for new entrants to secondary teaching is a task that must be kept apart from the transitional exercise, which is based upon existing provisions. It requires cooperation and discussion between PPTA and the Ministry of Education in an environment in which the Ministry is not solely focussed on clawing back some of the cost of the ADR settlement.

The issues are not simple – excluding the wrong qualifications from G3 will have potentially severe impacts on recruitment and retention in secondary school subjects in which the appropriate qualifications may not be those to which the Ministry would like to restrict top of scale payments in the short term to generate small savings on the ADR settlement.

The ongoing stability of the sector, and the appropriate discussions on the future of the qualifications groups for pay purposes requires that the transition occurs first and removes the temptation the Ministry has succumbed to for cost constraint.

We reiterate that following the transition exercise PPTA is prepared to meet the Ministry in good faith to review the G3 group and look to establish common understandings of any changes that may be necessary in order to advise the Ministerial Taskforce and prepare for any consequent changes to the Collective Agreement.

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