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Advert Outrages Secondary Teachers

8 May 2002

A full-page Ministry of Education advertisement in the country’s metropolitan daily newspapers has outraged PPTA members.

PPTA president Jen McCutcheon said today that some PPTA members were so incensed by the advert they were considering walking off the job in protest.

“That’s the strength of the feelings of our members,” she said.

“The $30,000 of taxpayers money the Ministry of Education spent advertising its position would have been better spent getting the secondary teachers collective agreement sorted out. The Government is using paid advertising to promote it’s position. That’s a questionable use of taxpayers’ money,” Mrs McCutcheon said.

“The Government needs to focus on the real issues here. They are the recruitment and retention crises facing the secondary sector. There is also the issue of increasing workload with the introduction of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement. That is a major issue for our members and advertisements in newpapers does nothing to help.

“The advert was also misleading in that it included items that are not part of the collective agreement such as the provision of extra teachers, scholarships and teacher trainee allowances.”

“We will be writing a letter to parents in response,” Mrs McCutcheon said.

Meanwhile about 2000 teachers walked off the job today in Counties-Manukau, Manawatu, Western Bay of Plenty, Marlborough and Wairarapa in support of the unsettled collective agreement and as part of a series of rolling strikes.

Tomorrow another 2500 teachers will strike in Canterbury, Taranaki, Upper Northland and Nelson.

“We agree that this ongoing dispute needs to be settled and we are willing, able and ready to do just that if the Government can see it’s way to making a decent offer to our members,” Mrs McCutcheon said.

Ends

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