December 1st 2010
EMBARGOED December 2nd 2010
Proposed Pay Settlement Reached For Primary Teachers And Principals
After months of talks primary school teachers and principals have reached a proposed settlement in their collective agreement negotiations.
The settlement, between their union NZEI TE Riu Roa and the Ministry of Education, will give them a 2.75% pay rise from December 1st, along with a $300 lump sum payment. The collective agreements for both teachers and principals will expire in August 2012.
“It is fair to say that this round of contract negotiations was extremely difficult and there were a number of significant sticking points in trying to secure a fair and reasonable offer for all teachers and principals,” says NZEI President Frances Nelson.
Thousands of teachers and principals around the country expressed their frustration over the lack of progress in the negotiations by filling in timesheets and sending invoices to the government to show how many extra hours they put into their jobs.
“In the end it was pleasing to finally see an offer from the Ministry which better recognises the value of the work teachers and principals do,” says Ms Nelson.
NZEI is particularly pleased that the Ministry agreed to remove a number of counter claims in both agreements which would have undermined career development and recognition for teachers who take on extra responsibilities in schools.
For principals the settlement also goes some way towards addressing the serious recruitment and retention problems in small rural schools by providing better practical assistance and incentives to those principals who staff them.
Frances Nelson says “proper investment in the education workforce is the only way to support and retain quality teachers and school leaders at a time when so many go searching for better pay and conditions overseas. The government needs to make that a priority now and into the future.”
Teachers and principals will vote on whether to accept the settlement over the next few weeks. NZEI will be recommending full ratification.