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Uturn On One Of Labour’s Broken Promises

Uturn On One Of Labour’s Broken Promises

“The PPTA President’s reported comments that the Minister of Education willl now return the non-degreed teachers issue to the ADR is only a first step to fixing the disparity in pay rates in school staff rooms,” Martin Cooney, spokesperson for the September 20 group said today. “That is one broken promise reversed – with his arm firmly up his back.”

“However it is a bit rich expecting the arbitration panel (ADR) to solve the problem. The problem began with this panel trying to find a way to help the Government break its promise to primary and kindergarten teachers on pay parity. The method it chose to help them save money by cutting flow-ons was to pay the increase only to degree holders because there are more of them in secondary. This has caused grossly unfair disparity in the pay scales in every staff room in the country – not just secondary,“ said Mr Cooney.

“The Minister of Education has two further decisions to make if 2003 is to be a settled year in schools. He should decide now to “grandparent” or pay every secondary teacher previously on Degree Equivalent status the 5 February increment instead of hiding behind the ADR. Secondly he must make a variation to the settlements to allow other experienced teachers with lower initial qualifications to access the step,” said Mr Cooney.

“The MPs in the House showed how quickly they could make decisions affecting their own pay and allowances in passing the Remuneration Authority Bill in a week” said Mr Cooney. “Mr Mallard must act as quickly to sort next year’s pay rates for all teachers.”

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