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Minister not teachers in 'cloud cuckoo land'

Nick Smith National Education Spokesperson

23 June 2002

Minister not teachers in 'cloud cuckoo land'

Education Minister Trevor Mallard is the one in 'cloud cuckoo land', not teachers, National Education Spokesperson Dr Nick Smith said today responding to the Minister's statement to the School Trustees Association Conference.

"The Minister is expecting teachers to take a real pay cut when he is imposing a bureaucratic school qualification that is killing teachers with assessment. It should not have taken nine months of school chaos to realise that teachers would balk at being treated like this.

"The Minister is ignoring the pleas of parents, students and school boards to resolve the crisis. This sort of inflammatory language will prove as helpful to the teachers dispute as his Heineken comment over the Rugby World Cup.

"In Opposition Helen Clark and Trevor Mallard criticised National's settlement of 7% over two years as too little. Now they want teachers to accept 5.5% over three years. It is no wonder teachers are angry when these Ministers say they have no more money when this Government is boasting surpluses.

"Helen Clark and Trevor Mallard don't give a toss that they are wrecking the education of 360,000 students and permanently damaging the sporting and cultural dimension of secondary schools.

"Students have been messed around for too long. National wants this dispute sorted and we believe a settlement in line with that of 1999 is needed to get our schools back to normal," Dr Smith said.


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