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Secondary teachers ratify agreement

Secondary teachers ratify agreement

Secondary teachers have strongly endorsed a three-year $270 million Collective Agreement that develops a new way of resolving issues within the secondary sector.

Eighty-three per cent of PPTA members who voted in paid union meetings over the past fortnight ratified an agreement that includes:

pay increases ranging from 8.74% to 13.1% over three years.

a targeted middle management package addressing pay and workload issues.

guaranteed non-contact time for teachers with management units from 2005.

increased mandatory non-contact time for all secondary teachers from 2006.

the creation of classroom specialist positions in each school with special time and salary allowances (4 hours and $6,500 respectively).

15 paid sabbatical leave positions from 2006 and 30 from 2007.

PPTA president Phil Smith said the new agreement would make secondary teaching a more attractive and worthwhile profession.

“Teachers have endorsed a process which will see real improvements in their working conditions and which paves the way for long-term solutions to the recruitment and retention issues that have dogged the sector for too long.”

“After the 2001-02 round, many PPTA members wanted a new way of working. The Ministerial Taskforce, our consultation process with members, and meetings with the Education Ministry enabled us to develop a set of proposals focusing not just on the next three years, but beyond that.

“We hope this collective agreement round, which has been characterised by cooperation and constructive engagement, becomes the benchmark for future negotiations.”

Mr Smith said the agreement also established joint PPTA-Ministry working parties on teacher workload, professional development, new advanced teaching qualifications, career pathways, extension of the sabbatical scheme, and the working environment in secondary schools.

“These working parties will make recommendations that will form the basis for a range of possible subsequent improvements to teachers’ working conditions, some of which could be phased in from as early as next year,” he said.

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