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Teachers' unions only winners

Friday 18th Feb 2000
Donna Awatere Huata
Media Release -- Education

ACT education spokesperson Donna Awatere Huata said in an address to the Association of Bulk Funded Schools' executive committee today that the Minister of Education had buckled to teachers' union terrorism.

Mrs Awatere Huata said teachers' unions were the only winners from the axing of bulk funding.

"High performing teachers will be big losers since the 41% of teachers at bulk funded schools that were rewarded with bonuses will lose that incentive for their efforts," she said.

Mrs Awatere Huata said this issue was far more important than whether a school was directly or centrally funded for teachers' salaries.

"The axing of bulk funding is only the first step in a campaign to go back to central control of education. Boards of trustees are under fire, with low-performing principals able to break their contracts and come under the protection of the unions.

"For far too long schools and boards of trustees have put up with low-performing teachers hiding behind collective union agreements. Bulk funding provided a remedy to this, and soon that remedy will be gone. Now this Government is forcing boards of trustees to pay low-performing principals bonuses that they haven't earned.

"Let's stop the Minister of Education's plans in their tracks. To start with, I urge the Association of Bulk Funded Schools to assist boards of trustees to bring a class action against the Minister for breach of their contracts. And I urge them to assist the School Trustees Association to bring a class against the Minister for breach of individual employment contracts.

"There is no logic to the axing of bulk funding. One hundred per cent of the boards of bulk funded schools stated they loved the increased flexibility and freedom bulk funding provided.

"Bulk funding is a forward-looking policy and a key solution to improving the educational achievement of our children. I urge you to fight Mr Mallard's decision and see that bulk funding is retained."

End Contact Donna Awatere Huata 04 4706625 or Kathryn Asare 04 4706637

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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