15th October 2008 For Immediate Release
Lack Of Commitment To Frontline School Staff Disappointing
The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa is disappointed by the School Trustees' Association's lack of commitment to frontline support staff in schools.
The Labour-led government is promising to deliver a pay jolt to support staff to underpin their collective agreement negotiations next year.
Support staff are a frontline and skilled workforce and play a vital role in teaching and learning. However they are among the lowest paid workers in the country and have little job security as they are paid through the School Operations Grant.
NZSTA has come out publicly and said it cannot support significant pay rises for non-teaching staff, despite the government's promise of additional funding.
NZEI President Frances Nelson says what NZEI members can't tolerate is the poor employment practice signaled by STA's position.
"STA is sending a very clear message that it does not value the role and contribution of support staff in the running of our schools and in children's education."
NZEI has been running a campaign for better pay for support staff and has garnered wide ranging support from the public, and the education sector.
"In the face of this support, what mandate has STA to say that support staff should not be paid appropriately for the work they do?" Ms Nelson asks.