Special Education settlement a win for quality education
12 March 2013
Special Education Field Staff settlement a win for quality education
NZEI Te Riu Roa says the settlement reached with the Ministry of Education over negotiations for Ministry’s Special Education Field Staff agreement is a step in the right direction for quality public education and great news for the country’s most vulnerable learners.
National Secretary Paul Goulter says the Special Education staff, who work with teachers, schools and centres to support children with learning disabilities, have been particularly stretched and overworked for a number of years.
“This has taken a toll on the wellbeing of these staff and threatened the quality of education in this vital area.
But now the Ministry has agreed to a revised plan to address workload and capacity issues along with ensuring members are supplied with adequate tools to allow them to do their jobs.
“This is a big step forward. It follows months of negotiations and averted a planned work to rule by staff by refusing to work unpaid overtime and use personal vehicles or phones for work-related activities as well as ensuring they take their breaks.”
“The 11th hour agreement by the Ministry to address member workload issues that were first raised in 2008 now means that the focus can go firmly back on providing quality education for the children that need it the most.”
“The agreement was achieved in a difficult political environment because staff were resolved to fight and to stand up for quality public education.”
The 28-month agreement includes an immediate one percent gross lump sum as well as a one percent increase in salary in February 2014 and again in 2015.