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NZEI Disappointed At Response Unified Profession

NZEI Disappointed At Response To Unified Profession

“NZEI Te Riu Roa is disappointed at the response from its sister education union, the PPTA, to NZEI’s vision of a unified teaching profession,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President Bruce Adin.

NZEI Te Riu Roa represents 42,000 members who work in all education sectors - early childhood teachers, primary teachers and principals, support staff in primary and secondary schools, special education staff working in primary and secondary schools and advisers in the tertiary sector.

At their Annual Meeting in Wellington today, NZEI Te Riu Roa members launched their vision for a unified teaching profession. This envisions all teachers, employed by the state in the early childhood, primary and secondary sectors, being covered by a single collective employment agreement. The single collective would include the unified pay scale that already covers primary and secondary teachers and would also cover kindergarten teachers when they achieve full pay parity in 2006.

“I am disappointed that the PPTA president has responded to NZEI’s vision of a unified teaching profession by highlighting the differences he sees between primary and secondary teachers,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President Bruce Adin.

“NZEI believes it is time to look to the future and start building on the things primary and secondary teachers have in common.”

“NZEI’s vision for a unified teaching profession has been developed in response to the divisions that have been created by the separate negotiation of primary and secondary pay settlements.”

“This has created major difficulties for both secondary and primary teachers. The mess that has developed with qualifications, because of the arbitration panel ruling that settled the secondary teachers dispute, is a prime example where both groups have suffered.”

“Both primary and secondary teachers have ended up with their qualifications and skills being undervalued. Both primary and secondary teachers have had to battle to undo the damage done by bargaining separately.”

“We need to start working together for the sake of the teaching profession and for the sake of the students we teach.”

“This is what happens overseas. Most OECD countries have unified teaching professions. We only have to look across the Tasman to see early childhood, primary and secondary teachers belonging to the same union and working together for the good of their profession and the students they teach.”

“Here in New Zealand primary and secondary teachers share the same pay scale and have done so for several years. Kindergarten teachers will join that pay scale in 2006.”

“The shared pay scale is a fact of life. We need to acknowledge this and use it as a basis for working together when we address areas of common interest, such as recruitment and retention of quality teachers, professional standards and pay and conditions.”

“It is working together in this way that we will build a unified teaching profession to the benefit of teachers, our students, the education system and the country as a whole,” says Bruce Adin.

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