29 April 2002
Secondary Teachers Vote In Favour Of Counter-Proposal
PPTA members have accepted a counter-proposal for a Secondary Teachers Collective Agreement put to them by the union last week.
The proposal contains the original 3.5 percent pay rise over two years previously offered by the Government, plus a national qualifications allowance of $3500 over three years starting with $1500 from July 1, $1000 next January and $1000 in January 2004. This would mean that from January 2004 beginning teachers would start on a salary of $38,700. An experienced teacher at the top of the salary scale would receive $55,576.
“The allowance would recognise the increasing complexity of the job, the level of skill required and the excessive workload secondary teachers face, especially now with the introduction of the new National Certificate of Educational Achievement,” PPTA president Jen McCutcheon said.
The counter-proposal also includes the non-contact time and extra staffing previously offered by the Government.
Mrs McCutcheon said the counter-proposal was a compromise between the Association’s original offer and the Government’s latest offer. The counter-proposal will now form the basis of PPTA’s negotiations.
“Seventy-four percent of our members voted in favour of the counter-proposal. That indicates that this package, if accepted by the Government, would be ratified. It’s time to settle this agreement. Our members are prepared to compromise, we hope the Government is as well,” Mrs McCutcheon said.
Mediated talks are continuing today and Mrs McCutcheon says PPTA’s negotiators are available for mediation or negotiations at any time. Rolling strikes will, however, go ahead tomorrow as planned starting with secondary teachers in Hutt Valley, Central Northland, Waikato and Thames Valley.
“This counter-proposal begins to scratch the surface of the serious issues facing the secondary sector, namely recruitment and retention. Our teachers, already struggling under the weight of very heavy workloads, are now facing more work with the introduction of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement. Increasing the amount of money they earn goes some small way to finally recognising and rewarding the extremely important job they are doing and they deserve it,” Mrs McCutcheon said.