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Government Postpones Negotiations With Teachers

Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today he has instructed the Ministry of Education to postpone negotiations with the PPTA this week in light of action being taken by Auckland secondary school teachers.

Trevor Mallard said his decision showed how seriously he viewed the action of rostering children home.

“This sends a signal to secondary school teachers that they cannot expect to negotiate over their collective agreement when they are taking industrial action that involves students not being taught,” Trevor Mallard said.

“While the action this week is only in one region, it has the support of the PPTA national executive who said that regional activity will be part of their action.

“It was with this knowledge, that I have this afternoon instructed the Ministry of Education to postpone negotiations planned for this week.

“I must also reiterate my disappointment that action of this nature was planned without even giving PPTA members the opportunity to consider the latest government offer. I believe the offer was a good one that included both increased pay and wider issues that PPTA members have told us are their most pressing concerns. These include recruitment incentives for hard to staff areas and extra pay for teachers taking on significant additional administrative responsibility to meet NCEA implementation requirements.

“My concern at the PPTA executive’s decision to reject this offer outright was heightened this morning by an executive member showing on National Radio this morning that she did not understand the new offer,” Trevor Mallard said.

Ends

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