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Secondary teacher ratification

18 February 2002 Media Statement

Secondary teacher ratification

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today expressed regret that secondary teachers had rejected the pay offer negotiated by their union.

“I believe the offer was a positive one that, as well as offering a 3.5% pay increase, recognised teachers’ calls for more to be done to address workload issues,” Trevor Mallard said.

“In particular, government negotiators moved a long way during negotiations to meet teachers’ requests for non-contact time to be part of their collective contract.

“I am disappointed that the agreement has not been ratified by a slim majority of secondary teachers around the country.

“The government will, however, continue to work to seek a resolution to this issue. Our negotiators are prepared to meet with PPTA negotiators as soon as possible.

“In the meantime we will also continue to work with secondary school teachers on some of the wider issues which help support high standards in education.

“For example, I am committed to implementing staffing improvements based on the school staffing review recommendations. That would result in 1850 extra secondary teachers above roll growth entitlement.

“The settlement also covered issues of teacher recruitment and retention including an increased allowance for hard to staff schools. We will continue to look at policy initiatives like this.

“Other initiatives focus on improving the standard of education at all levels in areas like literacy and ICT and we will not be taking our eye off the ball in these areas while we work through the industrial issues.

“Improving teaching and learning outcomes remains our top priority,” Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

Key points

- The settlement included agreement to provide all full-time secondary teachers with three hours non-contact time this year and next year, increasing to four hours in 2004, and five hours from 2005.

- A new provision for year two beginning teachers meant they would have each received the equivalent of half a day each week in non-contact time. The cost to Government to providing this resource is $4 million.

- The settlement included a 2% increase on salary from July 2001 and a further 1.5% increase from July 2002.

- Entry-level salaries for secondary teachers are competitive. Graduate teachers currently earn $34,000 (offer $35,200 by July 2002) in their first year of teaching, a salary that is competitive with graduates entering other professions. Teachers currently progress up to a top rate of $50,300 (offer $52,076 by July 2002) after seven years’ service

- Additionally schools can allocate “units’ to teachers in management positions or to those with extra responsibilities. Each unit is currently worth $2,750 (offer $2,847 by July 2002) and is paid on top of base salary

- As part of its commitment to improving school staffing, the Government has provided an additional 142 secondary teachers (in excess to extra staffing entitlement through roll growth) in 2002 as the first of 10 steps of staffing improvements based on the recommendations of the School Staffing Review Group. This will cost the Government around $11 million.

- In addition, the settlement included an employment-based retirement savings scheme that included a government contribution to teacher retirement savings, equivalent initially to 0.5% of a teacher’s salary and increasing over time.


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