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Government subsidises union membership

Hon Bill English

National Education Spokesman

9 September 2004

Government subsidises union membership

"Labour's $500 bonus payments to members of the NZEI is state-subsidised unionism," says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

Details of the proposed pay settlement with primary teachers show the Government will make a one-off $500 payment to union members only.

This follows a similar settlement with secondary teachers where a bonus payment of $500 is to be made only to union members.

"These two union-only payments will cost the taxpayer about $21 million. That's about the same size as this year's total budget increase in operational funding for all schools and could pay the salaries of about 400 extra teachers," says Mr English.

"This is a kick in the teeth for parents and communities who raise about $470 million annually, about one third of school operations funding.

"Labour is sending a very clear message to parents - you keep selling raffle tickets to fund your children's education because we think subsidising union membership is more important" says Mr English.

ENDS

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