15 April 2002
PPTA members resumed their national plan of industrial action today following the lack of settlement of their collective agreement.
The action this term includes the introduction today of a ban on meetings outside the hours of 8am and 5pm, an NCEA compliance ban and rolling strikes from 30 April to 9 May. The day release ban and the NCEA mark and keep action which began last term will continue.
PPTA president Jen McCutcheon said the meetings ban would highlight just what was expected of teachers now and the huge workload they have to deal with.
“This action will highlight just how much work secondary teachers have to do over and above their teaching duties. Complex NCEA assessments have increased secondary teacher workloads to the extent that there is a feeling of despair among many of them. Class sizes continue to increase as principals struggle to find suitably qualified trained secondary school teachers,” Mrs McCutcheon said.
The meetings ban means that members will take back control of at least part of their lives. They will not attend meetings at weekends, they won’t attend open evenings, parent teacher interviews and parent evenings, NCEA training meetings, professional development meetings or departmental meetings that fall outside 8am to 5pm. The rolling strikes will start on 30 April with different regions striking on different days over a two week period. Each region will strike for one day only during those two weeks
Also from today members will refuse to comply with any instruction from NZQA regarding the NCEA. Students, however, will continue to be taught as normal.
Mediation, which has been ongoing for the past two weeks, has been adjourned until next week.
“Some regions are taking wildcat action. That demonstrates just how disillusioned, frustrated and angry our members are at the refusal by this Government to understand and meet the needs of secondary teachers,” Mrs McCutcheon said.
“We know the public has been extremely patient, sympathetic and understanding in supporting secondary teachers in this industrial action and we appreciate it. We have tried to keep disruption to student learning to a minimum. We are, in the end, fighting for a better education system that will benefit their children. A system that attracts and retains good quality teachers. A system that is worth fighting for,” Mrs McCutcheon sai.d