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$25 Million Could Be Better Spent

1 May 2002

The Government’s expenditure of $25 million for secondary teachers to lease laptops smacks of paternalism, the PPTA said today.

“The money would be better spent on improving the salaries and conditions of secondary teachers, not computers,” PPTA president Jen McCutcheon said.

“Secondary teachers have had no say in this whatsoever. It’s just another way of creating extra work for secondary teachers who are already overburdened by an ever-increasing workload,” Mrs McCutcheon said.

“This is the Government telling people what’s good for them. It’s a pity they can’t listen to what the teachers want instead.”

Mrs McCutcheon said the PPTA was always available to negotiate but mediated talks had been suspended until May 13. The scheduled industrial action continues in the meantime.

“We are as keen as the Government to settle this agreement. The two parties are, in fact, not that far apart. Our claim is only $75 million more over three years than what the Government has offered. The Government could find this money if it reorganised its priorities.”

“Our members have agreed to compromise, it’s time the Government did. After all Air New Zealand may have made a profit, but what good is an airline without pilots to fly the planes.”

“The viability of New Zealand and its economy depends on a decent education system. That’s what we’re fighting for. We want the Government to invest in an education system that will benefit this country. That’s not much to ask.”

Ends

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