16 December 2002
Government capitulates – panel to reconvene
Secondary teachers can look forward to a more settled start to 2003 after the government finally agreed to reconvene the ADR panel to settle the dispute over G3 degree equivalent teachers.
In an about-face and following the filing of legal claims in the Employment Court, the Ministry of Education and Education Minister Trevor Mallard today conceded the arbitration panel could be reconvened.
The panel will clarify certain issues, including whether G3 degree equivalent teachers can access the new increment and the new salary step 14 in the collective agreement which come into effect on 5 February 2003.
PPTA president Jen McCutcheon said the government reversal ended months of frustrating and fruitless negotiations.
“With the prospect of legal action hanging over them, the Ministry and Minister have capitulated.”
“They have finally seen reason and conceded that reconvening the panel is the only way to resolve this dispute.
“This certainly vindicates the stance that PPTA has taken on this issue since the arbitration panel presented its report last August – that the panel was prepared to reconvene to resolve the G3 dispute if the Ministry and PPTA were unable to do so.”
Mrs McCutcheon noted that the government had agreed to be bound by the panel’s recommendations, and this included any recommendations the panel would now make on G3 equivalence.
She said failure to resolve the dispute could have impacted on secondary teacher supply as degree equivalent teachers were concentrated in curriculum areas already suffering shortages such as technology, health and PE, art and Maori.
“We would like to acknowledge the support those teachers have given to PPTA’s efforts to have their qualifications recognised equally to their colleagues with degrees.
“We look forward to the panel’s report.”