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Broken union model creating third-world staff shortages

Broken union model creating third-world staff shortages

Rural schools temporarily closing due to a lack of staff is something we’d expect from the third world, not New Zealand, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Desperate staff shortages are emerging as teacher salaries have fallen by 30% compared to average salaries – all thanks to rigid union contracts,” says Mr Seymour.

“Parents worried about getting the best and brightest in front of their kids will be outraged to hear that in some cases there won’t be any teacher at all. It’s a fundamental failure to keep the promise of a quality education for every New Zealand child.

“Decades of neglect caused by a broken union model have constricted teacher salaries. And we know from socialist countries like Venezuela that when you have a price cap (in this case on teacher salaries), you get shortages. This is why New Zealand schools badly need ACT’s education policy of putting a billion dollars more into teacher salaries and abandoning union payscales.

“Regional schools need to be able to offer salaries high enough to attract teachers, even if it means a change in lifestyle. With three teachers, a small rural school like Tauhoa would receive $60,000 more funding for staff. This would make an enormous difference.

“Auckland schools face a different kind of pressure – as MP for Epsom I’ve spoken to principals losing staff due to the costs created by a chronic housing shortage. I’ve heard stories where staff members have called in sick and the principal has had to step in to teach the class.

“ACT’s policy will address these pressures. And because it comes with the proviso that schools leave the union contract, they’ll have the flexibility to address their specific staffing needs, by paying more for teachers with vital expertise, or by simply using the funding to employ a larger number of teachers on current salary levels.

“It’s frankly a disgrace that teacher unions would reject a billion dollars in new funding in order to protect the status quo that denies kids the education they deserve.”


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Election Day Results

2017 General Election - Preliminary Count

National won 46% of the vote with Labour on 35.8%.

NZ First won 7.5%, with the Greens on 5.8%.

ACT held on to Epsom, but failed to get more MPs.

The Maori Party were wiped out of Parliament.

There are still special votes to be counted, but clearly National is in the box seat to form the next Government.

The Greens can not contemplate a deal with National.

So, Winston Peters will have to make a choice and could back National or a combined Labour/Green coalition.

The most likely result is National and NZ First will reach some sort of deal to form the next government.

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