Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Government needs to listen to primary teachers

Government needs to listen to primary teachers

The Government needs to listen and be more balanced and respectful in the way that it handles the collective bargaining with teachers, National’s spokesperson for Education Nikki Kaye says.

“The strikes, which start tomorrow, are the second round of strikes. This follows on from the strike in mid-August which was the first primary teacher strikes in 24 years. Teachers and parents need this resolved to prevent further disruption for students.

“The Government’s process for the collective bargaining for primary and secondary teachers has been long and at times disrespectful of teachers. Yesterday NZEI claimed that ministers have made misleading statements regarding the offer.

“Costing information was withheld by the Government about the offer from both NZEI and the PPTA over several months. We are now six months in, and quite rightly many teachers are questioning why it has taken so long to get to the current offer. It is too early to tell whether the current offer will lead to a settlement.

“The facilitation concluded and the strike meetings over the next week will consider the offer. The timeline for any decision for members may mean that the formal vote is not held for a number of weeks.

“It is now clear that the late offer by the Government on Thursday made it very difficult to avoid the strikes. The Government offered half a day’s pay to avoid the strike but the unions requested a full day to recognise most parents would have taken leave for the full day. The Government did not move on this which has meant we will now have some parents, particularly in Auckland, scrambling to take leave or getting adequate supervision arrangements for their children.



“NZEI has confirmed the offer leaves percentage increases of three per cent a year over three years unchanged on the base salary. There are changes to the top pay step and qualifications. However, they will not happen until 2020 which has left some teachers unhappy.

“Under National salaries increased by less but we were dealing with the GFC and Canterbury earthquakes. We know that the Government has spent billions on tertiary students and on commitments to NZ First which has constrained the amount that can be offered for teachers.

“Other groups in the public sector like the New Zealand Police have been offered more.

“The learning facilitator support for 600 teachers to help children with complex needs reflects Labour’s manifesto commitment to provide staff in every school. I have previously acknowledged the Government’s announcement on this as schools need more support for these children. However, the first tranche will not start until 2020 and there is still uncertainty about the timeline of the second tranche of providing these roles.

“The other area the Government should consider improving its offer to teachers is a commitment to reduce class sizes in primary schools. Earlier this year National made a strong commitment to reducing class sizes in primary schools. Labour talked about reducing class sizes for years in Opposition and some Labour MPs distributed election material committing to reductions but since coming into Government, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has refused to commit to reduce them. The claim has also argued for additional release time to assist with teacher workload.

“The pay and conditions in this collective bargaining will be a major lever to resolve teacher shortages. This means the stakes are high with this three year agreement. If the Government is unable to find the right salary and workload package it will also make it even harder to staff schools in the future.

“If it appears settlement is unlikely and the Government refuses to shift on salary increases then the Minister needs to consider providing greater certainty on the detail of learning facilitator roles, commit to reducing class sizes or increase release time. Parents and students need the Government not to walk away and criticise teachers but continue to keep working prevent further strikes.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

National Terrorism Threat Level Moves To Medium
Medium is defined as a terrorist attack is assessed as feasible and could well occur. The new level remains higher than it was before the 15 March terrorist attack when the threat level was low. More>>

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Environment Aotearoa 2019: Report Warns Environment In Serious Trouble

The report is jointly produced by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand, and is a follow on from the last report in 2015.

The report says the way New Zealanders live and make a living is having a serious impact on the environment, and the benefits New Zealanders get from being in nature, though not measured or quantified, could be lost. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Scrapping The Capital Gains Tax

As PM Jacinda Arden said yesterday, there was no point in Labour bringing a proposal into the House that it didn’t have the votes to get passed. Looking back, maybe she always felt this outcome to be inevitable... More>>

ALSO:

City Rail Link: Billion Dollar Cost Rise (And Preferred Bidder)

The revised cost envelope for completing the entire Auckland City Rail Link project now totals $4.419 billion. The revised cost has yet to be endorsed by the project’s sponsors (the Crown and Auckland Council). More>>

ALSO:

Meth Scare: Debt Write-Off For HNZ Meth Testing Evictions

People living in Housing New Zealand (HNZ) properties who were wrongly evicted because of flawed methamphetamine contamination policies will have their related debts with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) written off. More>>

ALSO:

RNZ Report: Fears Grow For NZ Nurse Kidnapped In Syria

A New Zealand nurse working for the Red Cross was captured by Islamic State (IS) in Syria more than five years ago, and there are now public pleas for any information that could help bring her home. More>>

ALSO:

Streets Blocked In London: Climate 'Extinction Rebellion' Reaches Aotearoa

Across the world, thousands of people are taking part in a rebellion to avert climate, ecological and human catastrophe. This begins in Aotearoa New Zealand today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels