May 11, 2006
From NZEI Te Riu Roa
For Immediate Use
Wayne Mapp Bill Bad for Education
The country's largest education union, NZEI Te Riu Roa, opposes the members bill by National MP Wayne Mapp that will mean anyone who starts a new job can be sacked during their first three months and have no ability to challenge their dismissal.
Dr Mapp's bill is being considered by Parliament's transport and industrial relations select committee. NZEI, which has 45,000, members including 28,000 primary teachers and principals, 10,000 school support staff, and a thousand special education staff, is lodging a submission saying the bill should not be passed into law.
"NZEI members oppose the Wayne Mapp Bill because it will have a negative impact on the education of the 750,000 children attending New Zealand's schools," says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Irene Cooper.
"That's because it will discourage teachers, principals and support staff from moving to different schools, particularly those that find it hard to attract staff."
Teaching is a mobile profession with teachers working at different schools as they grow in experience and seek to progress their career. It's common for a teacher's career to begin in a rural community or a low decile urban school that struggles to attract staff. They often move away from these schools as they gain experience then return later in their careers to take a job as a senior teacher, deputy principal or principal.
"This mobility is good for education as it helps schools throughout the country, in all types of communities, staff their classrooms," says Irene Cooper. "It's good for the students as new teachers and principals help ensure schools are exciting places for them to be, as they bring a fresh energy and new ideas."
"Wayne Mapp's bill will threaten this by discouraging teachers and principals from moving so freely from school to school."
Teachers and principals will be reluctant to sell their house and move their family to a community in another part of the country, if there's a risk their new job will be terminated during the first three months and they'll be stranded in a new area with no income.
"We can't afford to make it difficult for teachers and principals to change schools to advance their career," says Irene Cooper. "That's why it's vital for the education of our children that this bill does not become law."