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NZEI too partisan

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

27 September 2006

NZEI too partisan

A speech by the President of the NZEI shows the organisation cannot separate its professional role from its political opposition to the National Party, says National’s Education spokesman, Bill English.

“A professional organisation motivated by education would not take such an aggressive and misleading political position as the president, Irene Cooper, did today at the NZEI annual conference.

“She implied that National campaigns to destroy the union and teachers’ right to bargain, supports national testing, and plans to pay teachers on the academic performance of students, along with myriad other terrible sins.

“All of this untrue and she knows it.

“As National’s spokesman on education, I have engaged in constructive debate with the union and its representatives for three years.

“It is unfortunate that the NZEI’s response is such an ill-considered and misleading attack.

“Of course we disagree on some issues, because the NZEI’s job is to represent its members, and National's job is to represent parents and children.

“I hope NZEI members will pull their leadership back from such aggressive and partisan behaviour in favour of a failing Labour Government,” says Mr English.

ENDS

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