Get Back To Negotiating On Teachers' Row
8 July 2002
The Government and PPTA should be straight back around the negotiating table, rather than letting our schools fall into a third term of chaos, says National's Education spokesperson Nick Smith.
"There seems to be no will by the Government to resolve this and a total lack of concern about what this dispute is doing to our secondary schools and 280,000 students.
"They should be using every hour of every day over this holiday break to resolve this impasse, and get our schools back to normal.
"This Government has conveniently avoided responsibility for this dispute when it is to blame. It is the Government that went ahead with the biggest change in school qualifications in 50 years without teacher support and against National's advice. It is the Government that increased the right to strike and have stopwork meetings in school time through its new employment laws. It is the Government that raised teachers' expectations by criticising National's last settlement of 7% over two years, but now wants teachers to accept 5.5% over three years.
"Labour is expecting teachers to take a real pay cut with an offer that is less than the inflation rate. It should not have taken three consecutive school terms of chaos to realise this is just not going to fly," says Dr Smith.