October 13th 2008
For Immediate Release
Education Crusade Fails To Recognise Contribution Of Frontline Support Staff
The work of frontline school support staff continues to be overlooked by the National Party as it releases key educational policy, according to the education sector union, NZEI Te Riu Roa.
The Party has announced it will invest $47 million dollars into a crusade for literacy and numeracy in a bid to raise educational achievement.
Support staff are a frontline workforce and play a vital role in teaching and learning. However they are among the lowest paid workers in the country and have little job security as schools have to juggle operational grant funding to pay them.
The Labour-led government has promised to deliver a pay jolt to support staff as they go into pay negotiations next year. NZEI has called on other political parties to pledge their support.
So far National's Bill English has suggested the pay jolt is unaffordable while its education spokesperson Anne Tolley has labelled it "irresponsible".
NZEI National Secretary Paul Goulter says "the party is saying it is prepared to make money available to lift literacy and numeracy standards while apparently failing to recognise the contribution support staff make to educational achievement. Support staff may be frontline, but they clearly remain an invisible army when it comes to National's education policy."