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Ratification Concludes Teacher Pay Round

MEDIA RELEASE
25 JUNE 1999

RATIFICATION CONCLUDES TEACHER PAY ROUND

Way Cleared for Area School and Primary Parity Negotiations

Education Minister Nick Smith today welcomed the final ratification between the Ministry of Education and the PPTA on the new employment contract for secondary teachers through to April 2001.

"This is a good agreement and I welcome its ratification by secondary teachers. The agreement has involved compromise but it will now allow the sector to move on and focus on delivering excellence in education."

"The agreement on a set of professional standards for secondary teachers is a
very significant step forward. It ensures that before teachers progress up the
salary scale, comprehensive standards must be reached. The new provisions in the contract parallel those in the primary sector, but recognise some of the key differences of secondary education."

"The agreement provides for significant improvements in teacher salaries.

The largest increase is for graduate teachers whose starting salary will increase from $29,000 to $34,000; an increase of over 17%. At the outset of negotiations, Government offered this substantial increase, which was far greater than that asked for by the PPTA. This increase is critical if we are to attract the quality of graduates required for secondary education with the large roll increases projected over the next five years."

"Management units paid to teachers for taking on extra responsibilities are also substantially increased by 17%, from $2350 to $2750. This reflects the Governments' view that teachers who take on extra responsibilities need to be better rewarded. The general increase in the top of the scale salary of 7% will raise basic salary from $47,100 to $50,300. The increases occur in two steps, the first effective from January 1999, and the second from April 2000."

"The Government is also pleased that progress has been made on some smaller but significant issues. The President of the PPTA will no longer be funded by the taxpayer. Provisions allowing union meetings in class time have been removed from the contract. Agreement has also been reached to increase from 5 to 10 the number of days that a Board can require a teacher to participate in professional development and other curriculum related activities outside of normal term time."

"Pay parity in the primary teachers' contract now requires an offer being made to primary teachers at the same salary level for the same qualifications and responsibilities. Progress can also now be made on the area schools' contract which has been held up in the stand-off over secondary pay rates."

"This agreement represents a real breakthrough. It will ensure good teachers
are paid good money and has been achieved with minimal disruption to classes.

It will be welcomed by parents, students and the wider community."

ENDS

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