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Leaked memo spells disaster for secondary ed.

Nick Smith National Education Spokesperson

6 June 2002

Leaked memo spells disaster for secondary education

Secondary schools will be in chaos if Education Minister, Trevor Mallard, carries out his threats as outlined in a leaked email sent to school principals, says National Education spokesperson Nick Smith.

"The email, entitled 'When ducks go bad', was sent to principals following a Principals' Council meeting last Friday. It says that should the agreement not be ratified, the Minister has signalled he will not engage in any further negotiations, all PPTA members would be put on individual contracts and the staffing and taskforce initiatives would be taken off the table.

"These bully-boy tactics will simply throw fuel on the fire. The Minister cannot seem to get the message that a deal that has teachers taking a salary reduction in real terms is not going to fly.

"This memo spells disaster for secondary education. Already, this is the most disruptive teachers' pay dispute ever at the time of the biggest changes in school qualifications in 50 years.

"It is a national crisis when 57,000 Year 11 (5th form) students' qualifications are at risk. Also at risk are the extra-curricula activities like sport, debating, drama and music that provide our schools with so much character.

"This problem cannot be allowed to escalate further. It is time for the Prime Minister to take this problem out of Trevor Mallard's hands and give it to a less volatile Minister who will work to quickly find a solution," says Dr Smith.


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