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PPTA launches billboard campaign

PPTA launches billboard campaign

PPTA today launched a nationwide billboard campaign to highlight the need for a new approach to bargaining ahead of this year’s secondary teachers’ collective agreement round.

PPTA president Phil Smith said the billboards – in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland – were to alert the public to the fact that secondary teachers were about to commence a new agreement round this year, as well as inform the Minister that he needed to change his approach.

“The bitter and drawn out 2001-02 round was caused by an unwillingness on the part of the Minister and Ministry to recognise the real issues affecting secondary schools and teachers. It was only when students took to the streets that the Government finally moved to begin to address the serious concerns that teachers had about workload and the critical recruitment and retention problems in secondary schools.”

Mr Smith said PPTA had worked hard to engage with the Ministry and Minister to establish constructive relations since then and he was hopeful the Minister would adopt a new approach to this year’s round.

He said even though teachers gained a catch-up settlement two years ago, experienced teachers were still leaving the profession, particularly in areas such as technology where there were already major shortages.

He also said those staying in the profession were reluctant to take up middle and senior management positions because the workload pressures were extreme.

“The Ministerial Taskforce recognised that we need a problem-solving approach to the issues affecting secondary education to make secondary teaching a more attractive profession for our top university graduates.”

“Solving the problems of the sector has got to be everyone’s objective this time around. Ultimately, by enhancing conditions for teachers, students learning conditions are also enhanced.”

Phil Smith said PPTA would lodge its claim with the Ministry of Education at the beginning of May.

Although teachers were still finalising claims, he said initial concerns raised included addressing the middle management recruitment problem, resolving the G3 (degree-equivalent) issue that is exacerbating the technology teacher shortage, developing career pathways that allow experienced teachers to obtain promotion in classroom-based roles, firming the guarantees on the non-contact time won in the previous settlement, and a range of items to improve recruitment and retention, such as student loan relief, improved professional development, and research sabbaticals.

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