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Teacher & Principal Pressure Produces Progress

For Immediate Release August 16, 2004
From NZEI Te Riu Roa Media Release
Ms04/32

Pressure From Teachers And Principals Produces Progress

Pressure from teachers and principals in primary, intermediate and area schools has produced sufficient progress in their collective agreement negotiations for their union, NZEI Te Riu Roa, to lift a plan of industrial action.

The union is negotiating agreements for 28,000 teachers and principals and tabled its claims on June 10. After seven days of talks, NZEI organised 92 meetings throughout the country to report on a lack of progress in the negotiations.

At those meetings, held from August 2 to 6, teachers and principals voted to authorise the union’s National Executive to call paid union meetings in school time, to consider taking industrial action, if sufficient progress was not made in a further round of negotiations.

Those talks were held last week, beginning on Tuesday (August 10) and concluding yesterday (Sunday August 15).

“Significant progress was made in the latest round of negotiations, in particular on the teachers’ and principals’ key issues of workload, the lack of recognition and reward for their teaching qualifications, the lack of reward for the extra work and responsibilities shouldered by deputy and assistant principals and senior teachers, and the need to support new teachers,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Colin Tarr.

“Enough progress was made on these key issues that the National Executive of NZEI has decided to suspend its plan to call paid union meetings, in school time, at which teachers and principals were to have discussed taking industrial action.”

“Instead of holding those paid union meetings there will now be more negotiations with the Ministry of Education.”

“NZEI teachers and principals were frustrated and angry that the major concerns they had were not being taken seriously. The union is pleased the Ministry is now listening to these concerns.”

“NZEI is analysing the new offer the Ministry has made. As further negotiations are to be held later this week we are not able to release details of the new offer at this stage,” says Colin Tarr.

ENDS

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