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No Exemption For Education In Fire At Will Bill

11th December 2008

No Exemption For Education In Fire At Will Bill

Thousand of schools and early childhood centres will be affected by the government's "Fire at Will" bill which is being pushed through parliament today under urgency.

The legislation amends employment law to remove unfair dismissal protections for anyone in a workplace of fewer than 20 people.

The education sector union, NZEI Te Riu Roa, says after sending conflicting messages during the election campaign, National's bill contains no exemptions for the education sector. That means the law can be applied to thousands of schools and early childhood centres around the country.

NZEI President Frances Nelson says a 90 Day probationary period is inherently unfair and unjust to workers, and will have serious implications for education.

"Many teachers and principals move to gain promotion but they would be reluctant to move to a new job where there was no certainty of employment for the first 90 days. The law will jeopardise professional and career development and make it even more difficult for small, rural and remote schools and centres to attract experienced staff."

NZEI is also concerned by the National government's refusal to publicly debate the legislation in parliament through the normal select committee process and will be supporting efforts to have the legislation overturned.


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