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School support staff review long overdue

15 June 2005

School support staff review long overdue

The Greens are supporting the New Zealand Education Institute's Support Staff petition, which was delivered to Parliament today.

"Budgetary pressures mean schools are finding it increasingly difficult to fund the full cost of support staff," said Green Education Spokesperson Metiria Turei. "There are examples of teachers and principals working as part-time caretakers because of funding shortfalls."

"Since Tomorrow's Schools in 1989, there has been no comprehensive review of the needs of schools for support staff. With the NCEA and developments in IT such staff are increasingly needed, yet this isn't being reflected in the funding.

"Job security and adequate pay are the central issues for these workers. Tight budgets mean that, as wage rates increase, the hours of work offered decline. Many support staff have been owed hundreds of dollars for work done, as schools struggle to find the money to pay them.

"We welcome the overall review of operational funding, but there is an urgent need to look specifically at the provision of support staff. Workloads have increased but the funding is not sufficient to cover it."

Mrs Turei said the bulk funding of support staff salaries needed to stop.

"Bulk funding of teacher salaries has ended, so why not for support staff as well? Along with teachers, they are the key to running a school successfully."

ENDS

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