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Centralised Teacher Negotiations Fail

Monday 10 Jun 2002

The antiquated negotiation system between PPTA and the Government is responsible for the collapse of the teachers' pay deal, ACT Education Spokesman MP Donna Awatere Huata said today.

"The whims of bureaucrats and unionists shouldn't dictate what happens in the classroom.

"Neither Labour nor National has had the guts to admit that negotiations should not be between a mammoth, old-fashioned union and the Government.

"The Education Minister has provided no leadership - we didn't even get as far as we did until he went abroad and other Ministers took over from him.

"Nobody truly believes a solution can come from simply refreshing the PPTA executive or replacing the Government negotiators. Such suggestions may gain short-term headlines, but ACT believes in making proposals for real change.

"Only devolved funding to individual schools will give communities the power to reward good teachers. Combined with tax reductions that give an instant pay rise to every teacher, devolved funding would take the clout away from bureaucrats and unionists.

"ACT is the only political party that has made proposals to improve the current mess. Where are the ideas from the other politicians?

"We recognise that teacher pay disputes have continued under successive governments, and we alone seem determined to make a real change," Mrs Awatere Huata said.


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