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Early Decision To Avoid Court Action Urged

17 July 2002

Minister Urges Early Decision To Avoid Court Action

Education Minister Trevor Mallard has urged PPTA to bring their decision on an alternative dispute resolution forward to the weekend.

The Minister said the School Trustees’ Association has informed him that they wish to take legal action against the PPTA to stop strike action. He said STA was under pressure from parents to pursue legal options against striking teachers.

“I understand that STA will be asking the Employment Court for a declaration as to the legality of the strike and if the strike is illegal, for an injunction to stop it,” Trevor Mallard said.

“After discussing the issue with STA, I agreed to ask the PPTA to give us an answer on the alternative dispute resolution by Saturday night. If they agree to the process, next week’s industrial action would be lifted.

“I have tonight asked STA to hold off pursuing legal action until mid-day tomorrow to allow the PPTA to consider bringing forward their decision on the alternative dispute resolution process.

“Both the government and trustees want students back in their classrooms and we are frustrated that despite there being a way forward in this dispute, the PPTA is continuing with industrial action that is resulting in students’ being sent home.

“Our preferred option is for the Alternative Dispute Resolution process to get underway as soon as possible. If, however, the School Trustees Association, makes the decision to pursue their legal option, we will support them in that decision.

“In the meantime, I also ask school principals to offer their support to their PPTA members to help them make a decision by the end of school on Friday. This could include making time available to meet during the day,” Trevor Mallard said.


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