Nzei Says Quals Ruling Undermines Teaching
Wellington – NZEI Te Riu Roa has told the Ministry of Education that the arbitration panel ruling on teacher qualifications will undermine the quality of teaching in the primary sector.
The union met with the Ministry today to discuss which qualifications held by primary teachers will gain access to the new top step on the unified pay scale that covers primary and secondary teachers.
“The arbitration panel’s ruling is nonsense because it excludes teaching qualifications from a teachers’ pay scale,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Bruce Adin.
The ruling says that for a teacher to gain access to the new top step they must have a recognised teacher qualification but they must also have a qualification that is assessed at Level 7 of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority framework. However, that Level 7 qualification must NOT be a teaching qualification.
“That’s absurd,” says Bruce Adin. “There are Level 7 qualifications in acupuncture, homoeopathy and sports turf management. A teacher with those qualifications will have access to the new pay step but a teacher with a Level 7 qualification in teaching is denied access.”
The panel’s ruling make it clear this was done to shut out primary teachers to limit the cost of adding the new step to the unified pay scale.
“The message NZEI Te Riu Roa delivered to the Ministry of Education today is that thousands of primary teachers have worked hard to gain additional qualifications that make them more effective teachers and their students have reaped the reward,” Bruce Adin says.
“The Ministry and the Government need to recognise the commitment teachers have made to their profession and to delivering a quality education. If they don’t they are downgrading teaching and the education we provide our country’s children will suffer as a result,” Mr Adin says.
NZEI Te Riu Roa is concerned that the Ministry of Education says that it has no mandate at this time to go beyond the arbitration panel’s ruling. The union will now seek talks with the Government to ensure the concerns it has about the ruling are addressed.