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What's Labour Ever Done For Teachers?

What's Labour Ever Done For Teachers?

ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington today urged the Post Primary Teachers Association to rethink its support for Labour, after president Phil Smith threatened more industrial action if National and ACT form the next government.

"Mr Smith's scaremongering beggars belief. He has a duty to represent PPTA members' concerns. Instead, he makes threats of further strike action should there be a change of Government," Miss Coddington said.

"The PPTA conference provides an opportunity for the teachers' union to reflect on what Labour has, or hasn't, done for teachers since it became Government.

"Education Minister Trevor Mallard consistently rides roughshod over teachers' best interests. He implemented the flawed NCEA, creating a mountain of paperwork for teachers and a catalyst for strike action in 2002; student attacks on teachers have skyrocketed under his leadership; teachers have lost their jobs through his school closures; and still no progress, despite promises, on a truancy database to aid teachers.

"Further, the Government has introduced the State Sector Amendment Bill, a piece of legislation that basically punishes teachers for any industrial action.

"Teachers are getting a raw deal from Labour. The Government's centralised pay structure has crippled our education system. ACT believes good teachers must be paid more. It has become increasingly difficult to recruit and retain our best teaching professionals.

"The PPTA must revisit its cosy relationship with Labour. Teachers who are becoming frustrated at the Government's failure to stand up for them are increasingly contacting me. It is time to start treating teachers with the professionalism they deserve. ACT will do no less," Miss Coddington said.

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