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Alternative Dispute Resolution Best Way Forward

15 July 2002

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today made it clear the government would accept the outcome of the alternative dispute resolution being proposed to end the impasse in secondary negotiations.

“After two settlements agreed to with the PPTA executive and a further offer rejected, it is clear that there is an impasse. We are keen to have this dispute settled. This is the best way forward,” Trevor Mallard said.

“While the process proposed is non-binding on the PPTA, the government does not enter this kind of process lightly. Our intention is therefore to accept the outcomes recommended by an independent panel. It would then be over to the PPTA to decide whether they would also accept it.

“I am heartened that government negotiators were able to agree to two of the names proposed by the PPTA and that the PPTA has agreed to a government nomination.

The panel will therefore include:

Mr Bruce Murray – recently retired principal of Tawa College and former PPTA Principals’ Council Chairman.

Dame Margaret Bazley – former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development.

“We are finalising the availability of a third member who was proposed by the PPTA negotiators and is acceptable to government.

“All three understand that this is a matter that we want settled as soon as possible and are willing to start work as soon as the PPTA agrees.

“I am therefore disappointed that the PPTA is not prepared to try and get an answer from their members as soon as possible. The PPTA executive delayed discussing this issue for several days last week because of the school holidays. Despite that, I was given an assurance by the chief negotiator on Thursday evening that information would be able to be sent to members in time to get a response by tomorrow afternoon.

“The terms of reference agreed to in the negotiation process are clear. I believe that there are thousands of teachers around the country that are uncomfortable with strike action and disrupting their students’ education. It is my view that the PPTA executive should give their members the chance to enter this process before they resort to further industrial action.

“I believe that it is possible for the PPTA to fax all necessary details to their members’ schools tonight and for them to respond by the end of lunch time tomorrow. If that is not the case, it is appropriate for the PPTA to lift the action until their members respond,” Trevor Mallard said.


Ends

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