Education Minister Trevor Mallard’s announcement of $9M to increase secondary teacher numbers will be met with derision and scepticism by secondary teachers, the PPTA says.
PPTA president Jen McCutcheon said that until the G3 issue was resolved the Minister could do nothing to improve his credibility with secondary teachers.
She said the new funding, even if it eventuated, was unlikely to compensate for the loss of G3 non degree and G3 equivalent teachers in the very subjects the money was supposedly targeting.
“Degree-equivalent teachers play a key role in the delivery of art, music, Maori, technology, physical education and technicraft subjects, areas the Ministry of Education’s annual report indicated it already had problems recruiting in.
Mrs McCutcheon said the Minister needed to honour the public commitment he and his government made in July to accept the outcomes recommended by an independent arbitration panel.
“On 15 July Mr Mallard told the public of New Zealand and particularly its secondary teachers that ‘the Government does not enter this kind of process lightly. Our intention is therefore to accept the outcomes recommended by an independent panel’.”
She said the Minister appeared to be deliberately misinterpreting the intention behind the panel’s recommendation for G3 non degree and G3 equivalent teachers.
“The panel should be reconvened to clarify its intentions around that recommendation so that all parties can live up to the commitments they made. But the Minister refuses to allow the ADR panel to reconvene.
“Mr Mallard is ignoring the alternative disputes resolution process his government signed up for because he doesn’t like the outcome and is trying to renegotiate aspects of the outcome through the Ministerial Taskforce, which does not report until the end of next year and has no authority to rule on the collective agreement.”
While the mess created by the Minister grows apace, the Government risks throwing away the $9million clawback on simply replacing the very people it will force out of the secondary system.
The Minister has got it wrong again.