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Give kids a chance

16 July 2002

Give kids a chance

Education Minister Trevor Mallard said there was nothing to stop the PPTA acting tonight to call off rostered days home due to start tomorrow. It is in their power.

The Minister has today formally asked the PPTA to lift industrial action and has copied the letter to all secondary schools.

“Parents around the country should be asking teachers why they are accepting the PPTA’s need for strikes when such a clear process towards resolution has been approved by negotiators,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Parents should also be aware of schools’ responsibility to provide a safe place to study, even if teachers are involved in industrial action. If they have any doubts they should send children to school.

“The government and PPTA have agreed to a process of independent arbitration. We have agreed on terms of reference and membership. Both the Prime Minister and I have clearly stated the government’s intention to accept the outcome recommended by the independent panel. At the same time, we recognise that PPTA processes mean that they would have to seek ratification from members before they accept the outcome.

“I don’t, however, accept the PPTA executive’s view that it needs to take the arbitration process to their members. Their veto comes later.

“This is a win-win situation for teachers and I believe teachers around the country will be very supportive.

“Rostered days home this week do not need to happen and I have asked that all other industrial action be lifted as soon as possible.”

Trevor Mallard confirmed that former Assistant Commissioner of Industrial Relations (State Services Commission) Doug Martin is the third member of the panel. He had been suggested by PPTA negotiators. Former Tawa College Principal Bruce Murray and former public service chief executive Dame Margaret Bazley are also on the panel.

“This is a good way forward and we would expect industrial action to be lifted including stopwork on NCEA and the ban on extra curricular activities. In the meantime, I urge the PPTA to call off the rostered days home,” Trevor Mallard said.


Terms of reference attached.

AGREED TERMS OF REFERENCE

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION


Introduction

This paper sets out a proposal for an alternative dispute resolution mechanism to facilitate settlement of the Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement. The proposal has taken the following factors into account.

1. Many longstanding issues and issues which have emerged will be part of the agenda for the Ministerial Taskforce on Secondary Teacher Remuneration.

2. The need for a mechanism that will consider the issues and report in the shortest possible time frame that will allow adequate consideration of the issues in dispute.

3. Recognition that any recommendation cannot be binding on either party as the PPTA members will need to ratify any potential agreement emerging from the recommendation in light of the adequacy of recognition of secondary teachers’ work and Government will need to consider any budgetary or flow on implications.

Proposal

It is proposed that an independent panel examine the issues and make a recommendation to the parties. The panel would hear submissions from both parties before reaching its recommendation. The panel will consider the guiding principles as articulated by each party. The panel’s recommendation is unconstrained and does not necessarily need to reflect the position taken by either party at the hearing. The panel will consider the respective claims, offers and settlements made or reached by the parties. The panel will examine key elements of the proposals by the parties to resolve the dispute. The panel will therefore examine the appropriate level of:

 The proposed increases in base salary and unit rates.
 The backdating of base salary and unit rates.
 The NCEA Implementation units/payments.
 The non-contact time provisions
 The time allowance of 0.1 (2.5 hours per week) for year 2 beginning teachers
 The High Priority Teacher Supply allowance.
 Increases in Mäori Immersion Teacher allowances
 The additional 5 study awards for teachers who are Mäori
 The refresher leave provision
 Improvements to the removal and transfer expenses provisions.

The following will be taken into consideration by the panel but will however, be outside the issues which form part of the recommendation by the panel:

 The proposed term which is from settlement to 30 April 2003
 The proposed improvements to staffing schedules.

Composition of Panel

It is proposed that the panel be comprised of:

Dame Margaret Bazley;
Doug Martin; and
Bruce Murray.

Process to be followed

The panel will conduct its examination along the following lines and reach its recommendation by consensus.

Step one: the hearing of opening submissions from the parties. Both parties will also be present for these hearings and submissions will be able to be questioned by both the panel and the other party to the dispute. In the event that the panel requires further information necessary to its deliberations, it will obtain this through the parties.

Step two: the panel will consider the issues placed before it and will make an interim recommendation. This recommendation will then be communicated to the parties via a one-day hearing at which the parties may raise any questions of interpretation with the panel.

Step three: the parties will make final submissions to the panel after receiving the interim recommendation. The same procedures will apply to these submissions as to the opening submissions.

Step four: the panel will make its final recommendation after receiving the final submissions from the parties.

Timeline

It is envisaged by the parties that the panel will complete its deliberations and make its final recommendation within three weeks.

The guiding principles for the panel for assessing the possible terms of settlement.

The guiding principles for the panel in coming to its recommendation are the principles of fairness and equity.

For the PPTA, these involve fair recognition of teachers’ work and workload and establishing stability and certainty for state secondary education.

For the Government, these involve, inter alia, the need to meet a number of recruitment, retention and workload concerns within the secondary sector balanced against the importance of budgetary concerns and the impact of any flow-on to the rest of the education sector and the wider state sector.

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