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Students the casualties of strike action

Simon Power National Industrial Relations Spokesperson

6 November 2001

Students the casualties of strike action

Students are the one's hardest hit by the latest round of industrial action to disrupt the education sector, says National's Industrial Relations spokesperson Simon Power.

"The PPTA resumed strike action today after a week-long break to pursue negotiation, but Education Minister Trevor Mallard is still refusing to budge. This is a far cry from Mr Mallard's posturing in April 1998 when, as Opposition Education spokesman, he said 'by refusing to negotiate the workload issues, the Government is failing to bargain in good faith'.

"Further rolling strike action means years 11 and 13 students across the country will be asked to spend a day at home this week, missing valuable class preparation time for School Certificate and Bursary exams beginning in just a fortnight on 19 November.

"Continued deadlock over negotiations will mean the remainder of secondary students will be affected until the end of November.

"Adding to the education sector's industrial strife is trouble in the country's universities over lecturers' pay. University staff have begun low-level industrial action, which could escalate into the withholding of exam results, the shelving of graduation preparations and the putting on hold of next year's enrolments.

"It's crystal clear that students have become the latest casualties of the Government's employment relations legislation," said Simon Power.


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