7 May 2002
A Little Of The Government’s Windfall Would Mean A Lot To PPTA Members
A tiny portion of the Government’s $905 million budget surplus would go a long way towards settling the secondary teachers’ dispute, the PPTA said today.
Secondary teachers began their second week of rolling strikes today on the back of news that the Government has a $2.93 billion budget surplus, $905 million more than expected.
“News that the Government has such a high budget surplus but can’t afford to pay secondary teachers more will enrage our members and make them more determined to continue industrial action,” PPTA deputy general secretary Bronwyn Cross warned today.
“This long-running dispute could be easily solved with an extra $75 million – that’s how much extra it would cost the Government to accept our recent counter-claim. Our members have been told for more than a year by Education Minister Trevor Mallard that there is no more money for them, this latest news clearly shows that there is,” Ms Cross said.
“It’s outrageous that secondary teachers have to go on strike for a 10 percent increase in their pay over three years while the government replenishes its coffers with this huge surplus. Our counterclaim comprises a 3.5 percent pay rise and $3500 national qualifications allowance over three years, and would only cost a smidgen of that $905 million windfall. Indeed it would be a very worthwhile investment.”
“A little of that windfall could mean a lot to PPTA members and could see an agreement being reached.”
“Our members are keen to settle this collective agreement. They don’t like taking industrial action. But they feel undervalued and overworked and they believe they have little option. News of this budget windfall will just inflame the situation. The Government has the opportunity now to redeem itself in the eyes of PPTA members. We challenge them to do so.”