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Trevor Mallard Letter To Jen McCutcheon

16 July 2002

Ms Jen McCutcheon
PO Box 2119

Dear Jen

Two weeks ago the government agreed with PPTA negotiators to enter a process of alternative dispute resolution as a way to reach a settlement of the secondary teachers’ collective agreement.

I understand the PPTA is in the process of preparing information to send to its members to help them make a decision on whether or not to accept this process and to lift industrial action. It would be a show of good faith for the PPTA Executive to lift the current strike action while members decide on the process.

Teachers are professionals who take pride in the achievements of their students both in the classroom and in the wider school community. I believe there are thousands of teachers around the country who feel uncomfortable taking industrial action that ultimately affects the educational opportunities for their students.

I am writing to you to ask your Executive at your meeting tonight to reconsider the PPTA’s position in relation to the planned industrial action due to begin tomorrow. I believe it is unnecessary, unproductive and will only further disrupt the education of secondary students.

The PPTA Executive has shown in the past that it can move quickly as was demonstrated in June with the PPTA counter claim being agreed by members and tabled within five days.

I understand that teachers have made representations to the PPTA Executive to lift industrial action as soon as possible and allow the independent panel we have agreed to start their work.

You may have also seen media coverage in which both the Prime Minister and I have committed the government to accepting the outcomes recommended by the independent panel. We also accept that the PPTA processes mean that acceptance of recommendations will depend on ratification by members.

This is a win-win situation for teachers. I urge you to give careful and urgent consideration to these matters.

Yours faithfully

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Education
Copy to all secondary schools

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