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Teacher Exam Claim Bad Omen For ERB

National Education Spokesperson Nick Smith says today's claims by teachers for a 70-100% increase for marking School Certificate and Bursary examinations is a sign of things to come under the Employment Relations Bill.

"The Employment Relations Bill is going to push up the costs of School Certificate and Bursary examinations for families and increase the risk of industrial disruption and delayed results. If the claim of a 70-100% increase launched today is successful, the cost of sitting School Certificate will increase from $75 to $125 and for Bursary from $165 to $275. Families just can not afford this sort of increase," Dr Smith said.

Dr Smith was responding to the campaign by the Concerned Teachers Spokesperson, Peter Calvert who connected the large claim with the imminent passage of the Employment Relations Bill. The claim proposes a 70-100% increase in rates for marking school Certificate and Bursary, new allowances of $200 per week for new achievement standards and of $10-$50 per item for internal assessment marking.

"This claim is a warning shot to the Government of things to come under the Employment Relations Bill. It will give power to the teacher unions to hold students and their parents to ransom for basic services like marking exams.

"Marking School Certificate and Bursary Examinations is not compulsory for teachers. The contract rates paid by NZQA must be high enough to ensure there are sufficient markers, while minimising the cost to parents. Bringing teacher unions into the equation through the ERB has a high chance of causing disruption to school exams.

"The unionisation of exam marking under the Employment Relations Bill will just push up costs for families and increase the risk of students being held to ransom," Dr Smith said.

Ends

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