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Minister welcomes secondary teacher decision

23 July 2002 Media Statement

Minister welcomes secondary teacher decision

Education Minister Trevor Mallard has welcomed the decision by secondary teachers to enter into alternative dispute resolution as a way of breaking the impasse in the collective agreement negotiations.

“This is the best way forward,” Trevor Mallard said.

“The government has reached two settlements with the PPTA which were rejected by its members. A further offer was rejected outright. The government has moved significantly in that time but we are still worlds apart from the current PPTA claim.

“This alternative dispute resolution is a win-win situation for teachers. The government has agreed to accept the recommendations from the independent panel, but we also accept that the PPTA has a process that means they would have to take any recommendations to members for ratification.

“Alternative dispute resolution was first mooted by PPTA negotiators at the end of last month. It is a process that the government has agreed to in the best interest of education. We also agreed with three of the PPTA suggestions for memberships. Two of those people – former Tawa College principal Bruce Murray and former Assistant Commissioner of Industrial Relations (State Services Commission) Doug Martin are included in the independent panel. The third member, suggested by government negotiators and agreed to by the PPTA, is former public service CEO Dame Margaret Bazley.

“The panel is likely to meet for the first time early next week. The Ministry of Education and the PPTA will make submissions to the panel, which would then make a recommendation. The panel has the facility to ask for further information from both parties if needed. It is also likely to seek comment from the School Trustees Association.

“It is expected that the panel will make its recommendation within three weeks.

“At the same time, the government is continuing its work to reduce NCEA workload outside of the collective agreement process. The Ministry of Education and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority reported to me for the first time last week on initiatives in this area. They are now going to report to me fortnightly on the implementation of those initiatives and other ideas to reduce workload,” Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

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