Minister welcomes settlement for start of year
24 January 2003 Media Statement
Minister welcomes settlement for start of new school year
Education Minister Trevor Mallard today welcomed the recommendations of the Alternative Disputes Resolution Panel on the issue of pay for non-degree teachers.
The panel has been considering which non-degree teachers should be able to access the new top pay step and salary increments which were part of last year’s secondary teachers settlement.
“I’m relieved the issue has been settled by the panel and I hope this means that the school year can start next Wednesday positively and with a clean slate, so teachers and students can focus on learning, without any other distractions,” Trevor Mallard said.
“The panel in its report today on the issue of “G3 equivalence” says it believes its recommendations are fair and equitable to both teachers and the taxpayer because they “reaffirm the strong incentives for the recruitment and retention of highly qualified and trained staff’. This was also the panel’s position in its recommended settlement to the secondary teachers collective agreement last year.
“I’m totally supportive of this approach and the Government in recent settlements in the school sector has been focused on the recognition of qualifications in both teaching and non-teaching collective agreements.
“The ADR panel has today also recommended that in order to access the new top pay scale, a teacher without a degree must hold a substantive qualification that is assessed at or above level 7 (degree level) on the National Qualifications Framework and separately hold a recognised teaching qualification.
“It’s important to remember that the teachers who do not meet that test will still be able to access the other pay increases contained in last year’s settlement, and they remain in what is known as the G3 salary group.
“The panel also recommended that the matter of salaries for teachers in specialist subjects or curriculum areas and who will not access the new salary step, be referred to the Ministerial Taskforce on Secondary Teacher Remuneration for consideration,” Trevor Mallard said.
A copy of the ADR Panel Final Recommendations concerning G3 Equivalence is attached.
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTES RESOLUTION PANEL
FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS CONCERNING G3 EQUIVALENCE
24 JANUARY 2003
In its report dated 19 August 2002, the panel noted that because of the uncertainties about the extent and nature of the G3 equivalent group of teachers, the possible flow on effects, and the need for further technical information, it was not in a position to make a definitive recommendation on whether this group should access the proposed additional increment and the new step 14 (referred to on the salary scale as “G3+’). The panel accordingly recommended as follows (recommendation 14):
“ In the event the recommended settlement package is ratified, the parties meet in good faith to consider and resolve the issue of whether “ G3 equivalent teachers’ should access the additional increment payable on 5 February 2003 or the new step 14. The panel is prepared to reconvene if the parties are unable to find a resolution’.
The parties were unable to resolve the G3 equivalence issue and the panel was accordingly reconvened on 15 January 2003.
The panel conducted its examination in accordance with its original terms of reference, modified appropriately to reflect the limited scope of the issue under consideration. In particular, the panel had regard to the guiding principles contained in its original terms of reference.
The panel commenced its work on 15 January 2003 when both the Ministry of Education and the PPTA presented their submissions with supporting material. The parties were afforded the opportunity to respond to each other’s submissions and also provided the panel with additional information on some specific issues.
The panel carefully considered the submissions and responses of the parties and made its recommendations on 24 January 2003.
The Guiding Principles
The original terms of reference stated that the guiding principles for the panel in coming to its recommendation were to be the principles of “fairness and equity’. These principles were defined from the perspective of both the PPTA and the government.
“For the PPTA, these involve fair recognition of teachers’ work and workload and establishing stability and certainty for secondary education.
For government, these involve 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’.
The panel, in its report dated 19 August 2002, acknowledged the equity of honouring arrangements that have been entered into in the past in good faith. On the other hand, the panel’s recommendations were directed at increasing the qualification level of all teachers within the secondary service, providing incentives for this to occur, and highlighting the need for a thoroughly trained workforce.
B Applying the Guiding Principles
Qualification Requirements for G3+
The panel, in considering the issue of G3 equivalence, has considerable sympathy with the view that arrangements entered into in the past in good faith should be honoured. Many of these arrangements were entered into some decades ago.
Having said this, the advent of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) in the 1990’s now provides an impartial and transparent means for assessing qualification levels. The panel, in its original recommendations, considered that the three- year bachelor’s degree was an appropriate qualifications benchmark in secondary teaching. The NQF assesses the three-year bachelor’s degree at Level 7 on the qualifications framework.
The panel has therefore come to the view that only those teachers (current or future) who have both qualifications (degree or non-degree) that are registered or assessed at Level 7 on the NQF and possess a separate recognised teaching qualification should access the new entry level, the additional increment, and the new step 14 on the salary scale as appropriate. Such teachers will comprise the new G3+ salary group. To widen access to these benefits to teachers whose qualifications are registered or assessed at below Level 7 would, in the panel’s view:
- be inconsistent with the widely supported principle of creating incentives for a more highly qualified teacher workforce;
- give rise to considerable risk of flow-on to the wider education sector, with consequential high budgetary cost (estimated to be as high as $25 million over the period).
A number of the qualifications held by secondary teachers are current and hence registered on the NQF. In other cases, the qualifications may no longer be current, having being superceded by another qualification that is registered on the NQF. These non-current qualifications will need to be assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, New Zealand Vice Chancellors Committee or other appropriate body as the case may be to establish whether they have Level 7 equivalence.
Given the need for clarity over which qualifications meet the Level 7 test, it is important that teachers who have not supplied their qualifications to the Ministry of Education for assessment now do so. This will ensure that all those that qualify for the new salary steps receive the benefit.
Training Requirements for G3+
In regard to the requirement to separately hold a recognised teaching qualification, the panel notes that a small and diminishing number of current teachers were awarded teacher qualifications such as Certificates of Competence or were granted “List B’ status by the Department of Education. This mainly occurred in the 1970’s and 1980’s and in part was related to the period following the integration of private (mainly Catholic) schools into the state system.
The panel regards these as recognised teaching qualifications for the purposes of accessing the additional increment and the new step 14 on the salary scale.
Teachers in Specialist Subjects
In the course of its deliberations, the panel gave considerable thought to the position of
those teachers who have had G3 equivalence conferred on them, do not satisfy the Level 7 qualification test, but have no clear pathway that is relevant to their teaching subjects that would allow them to obtain Level 7 qualifications and hence the benefits of the G3+ salary group.
These teachers appear to be largely but not exclusively in the curriculum areas of technology, computing and word processing. A wide range of qualifications is held by those who teach in these curriculum areas, and the panel is in no position to differentiate between those qualifications.
The panel can see no reason to depart from the Level 7 qualification test. Indeed, the panel is aware that there are teachers in these curriculum areas who hold Level 7 qualifications. However, the panel is of the view that the Ministerial Taskforce on Secondary Teacher Remuneration should review the basis for fixing the salary of this group of teachers, and that the New Zealand Qualifications Authority or other appropriate bodies should validate or otherwise the Level currently accorded to the qualifications commonly held by this group of teachers on the NQF. This review should follow the assessment of existing qualifications referred to above for the purpose of determining access to the G3+ benefits.
He Tohu Matauranga Maori (Te Atakura)
He Tohu Matauranga Maori teachers generally have no qualification which can be recognised by the NQF. They were attested to by marae committees and trustees as being competent in Maori language and culture (see Education Gazette 1 September 1986). There was and still is a demand for the teaching of Maori language in schools, and this was an earlier approach to secure a supply of people who were competent in the language and culture.
Given our recommendation that only teachers with Level 7 qualifications access the G3+ salary benefits, the basis for fixing the remuneration of He Tohu Matauranga Maori Teachers who were accorded G3 equivalence should, on the grounds of fairness and equity, be reviewed.
1 Access to G3 Salary Group
It is recommended that in order to access the G3 + salary improvements, a teacher (current or future) must:
1. hold a substantive (non-teaching) qualification that is registered or assessed at or above Level 7 on the NQF;
2. hold separately a recognised teacher training qualification; and
3. have met the appropriate level of professional standards at the teacher’s last assessment.
Note: A recognised teacher training qualification includes:
- a Certificate of Competence issued to a teacher by the Department of Education;
- the granting of List B status to a teacher by the Department of Education;
- qualifications issued by training institutions recognised by the Teacher Registration Board or the New Zealand Teachers’ Council.
2 Qualification Assessment
Given the need for clarity over which qualifications meet the Level 7 test, it is recommended that teachers who have not supplied the Ministry of Education with their qualifications for assessment now do so.
3a Teachers in Specialist Subjects /Curriculum areas
It is recommended that, in light of the recommendation 1 above, the Ministerial Taskforce on Secondary Teacher Remuneration review the basis for fixing the remuneration of teachers in specialist subjects or curriculum areas (e.g. technology, computing, word processing) who have current G3 equivalence but who do not possess Level 7 qualifications, and for whom a Level 7 qualification may not be either relevant or available to them.
3b Review of Qualification Levels
It is further recommended that following the assessment of existing qualifications in terms of recommendations 1 and 2 above, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and other appropriate bodies be asked to review the levels on the NQF afforded to the qualifications commonly held by teachers in these specialist areas so that the outcome of the review can be considered by the Ministerial Taskforce on Secondary Teacher Remuneration.
4 He Tohu Matauranga Maori (Te Atakura)
It is recommended that in the light of the recommendation 1 above, the Ministerial Taskforce on Secondary Teacher Remuneration review the basis for fixing the remuneration of teachers engaged under the He Tohu Matauranga Maori process.
Returning to the guiding principles, the panel believes that its recommendations are fair and equitable to both teachers and the taxpayer because:
- they reaffirm the strong incentives for the recruitment and retention of highly qualified and trained staff;
- they limit as far as possible the flow on to the rest of the school sector, and therefore costs to government;
- by relying on Level 7 of the NQF as the benchmark for being able to access the benefits of G3+, the panel has accepted a standard which:
o is independently assessed by a competent authority outside the teaching profession;
o draws a line based on the Bachelor’s degree level which has been a general benchmark for secondary teachers for many years; and
o is able to draw a line amongst the many qualifications available in New Zealand;
- they draw attention to two particular groups of teachers whose qualifications or attestation as a basis for pay fixing requires further examination.
E Acknowledgements and thanks
The panel sincerely thanks officials of both the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers’ Association for the professional way in which they advised and assisted the panel.
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Dame Margaret Bazley DNZM Bruce Murray Doug Martin