18 July 2002
PPTA Sticks To Its Guns
The existing membership consultation process on an alternative dispute resolution proposal remains on track, PPTA president Jen McCutcheon said today.
"It is clear from Executive members, individual members and branches who have contacted us today - that the current timeline for the consultation is working very well. We know how schools work and the kinds of processes that are most effective for teachers.
She said members were dismayed by the apparent heavy-handedness of the ultimatum set by the Education Minister. "His government's employment legislation gives workers the right to be consulted on issues affecting their employment agreements and due processes to be followed during such consultation. His demands seem to have completely overriden that and caused a tremendous amount of anger among secondary teachers.
"This is a very significant issue on which PPTA members are being consulted. They take their democratic rights very seriously and - as you would expect of secondary teachers - place a high priority on making informed decisions.
"For the Minister to suggest that teachers who are out of school at present, could be couriered or faxed the information and relay their response, shows how woefully out of touch he is with secondary education. Try faxing or couriering a document to a teacher on a biology field trip in the mangrove swamps up north, or to a geography teacher on the top of Mt Arthur - it's just not possible.
"Unfortunately, this kind of attitude and behaviour is what we have had to deal with over the last 16 months. If the Minister had taken a reasonable approach at the outset, I am sure we would have had a settlement a long time ago."