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Northcote MP offers to meet teachers

23 May 2002

Tomorrow’s Parliamentary budget debate will stop Northcote MP Ann Hartley meeting striking teachers.

Mrs Hartley said today that she had been unable to get leave from Parliament to meet teachers from Northcote College who plan demonstrating outside her office in Birkenhead tomorrow.

Instead, she has offered to meet them on Saturday morning.

“I understand the pressures teachers are under, and am happy to discuss their concerns with them,” she said.

“As a Labour MP, I have certainly advocated the concerns that teachers have expressed. Local members of their union, the PPTA, came to me two years ago with serious concerns about retention, recruitment and workload issues. I have taken these issues to the Labour caucus and made sure that the teachers’ views are heard.”

Mrs Hartley has had many years of involvement with education in the district, including serving on the board of governors at Birkenhead College.

“I respect the work that teachers do and believe that the wider community values their contribution,” she said.

“However, I do urge teachers to respect their union’s democratic processes, by listening to the proposed settlement and voting on it. I believe that the settlement package addresses most of the concerns raised by teachers, and the establishment of an independent ministerial taskforce on teachers’ remuneration will enable the union and the Government to continue to address any outstanding issues,” Mrs Hartley said.


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