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High Noon For Teachers

High Noon For Teachers

The Education Minister's latest threat to secondary teachers suggests he is living-out some Wild West fantasy, Green Party Co-leader Rod Donald said today.

"Trevor Mallard's ultimatum that teachers accept arbitration or face legal action is nothing but heavy-handed bullying," said Rod Donald. "He's issued a Saturday deadline in the same way as a gunslinger challenging his victim to a high noon showdown.

"The PPTA is polling its members on arbitration and that process will be finished by Tuesday. After all these months, why is Mr Mallard suddenly showing such a burst of enthusiasm?

"Surely the prospect of industrial action just days out from an election hasn't prompted this extraordinary ultimatum. Has it?

"We agree with the Government that education is a key to a knowledge economy. Where we seem to differ is in our belief that education hinges on respecting, valuing and supporting teachers.

"It involves more than just training young people for jobs.

"The fundamental problem underpinning this dispute is that there are only so many hours in the day," said Rod Donald. "The Green Party wants immediate action to address workloads and a we support a full review of teacher remuneration."

Rod Donald and Education spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street will launch the Green Party's education policy before an audience of teachers in Hamilton on Monday.


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