23 November 2012
Attacks on teaching and learning conditions off the table
After several weeks of negotiations PPTA has managed to head numerous attacks on teaching conditions off at the pass.
The ministry of education came to the table with claims for the Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement (STCA) bargaining that included 42 reductions in teaching and learning conditions, PPTA president Robin Duff said.
The ministry’s claw-back claims reflected a total lack of knowledge and experience of schools – increasing workload for teachers, gutting parental leave provisions and allowing the ministry to set the criteria for salary progressions, Duff said.
But last week the ministry withdrew all those claims “suggesting the government campaign to reduce teachers’ terms and conditions has been effectively derailed,” he said.
After members were consulted at a series of paid union meetings (PUMs) over the past week PPTA’s executive has now approved that a rollover settlement, including the protection of all current provisions and an average pay increase of 2.66% for a term of 30 months, go out to members for ratification.
Duff said members at the PUMs took a pragmatic approach, agreeing that when dealing with such a hostile ministry the priority was to preserve the collective agreement and fend off the claw-backs.
PPTA intended to focus its energies on standing up against the government’s attacks on public education, Duff said.
“Whatever the outcome of the ratification vote, PPTA will continue to demand accountability from the government and the ministry with respect to Novopay and the debacle that is the Christchurch Renewal Plan.”
“We will campaign actively against the imposition of the failed charter school model in New Zealand, the constant reductions in secondary school funding through quarterly funding and now vouchers in the senior school,” he said.