July 19th 2010
For Immediate Release
Fire at Will Bill Impacts on Teacher Recruitment And Supply
The extension of the Government’s 90 Day Fire at Will Bill could have a devastating effect on teacher supply and staffing, according to the education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa.
The Government is widening the 90 Day Bill to include workplaces with over 20 employees, which will affect thousands of schools. It is also changing holiday provisions and limiting access by union staff to workplaces.
NZEI believes the Bill is inherently unfair and unjust to workers and there are unseen consequences for the education sector.
NZEI National Secretary Paul Goulter says it will discourage teachers, principals and support staff from moving between schools or between early childhood centres.
“Teachers and principals have historically moved to gain promotion but under the 90 Day Bill they are going to be very reluctant to uproot themselves and their families, when there is no certainly of employment for the first 90 days. That will affect career development for teachers and make it even harder for isolated or hard-to-staff schools to attract and retain staff.”
As well as undermining job security and recruitment and retention in the education sector, there are also clear risks to teaching and learning.
“What it could mean is that children will have a different teacher standing in front of their class every term, or face constant changes in school leadership,” says Mr Goulter.
NZEI says the Government needs to come out from behind its ideology and consider the wider implications of the 90 Day Bill on the New Zealand workforce.