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Area school offer worse than primary and secondary

Area school offer worse than primary and secondary

Area school teachers across the country will begin a series of paid union meetings today to consider a worse offer than that presented to their primary and secondary colleagues.

The Area Schools Collective Agreement (ASTCA) is being jointly negotiated by PPTA and NZEI and both education unions are deeply disappointed with the offer - which consisted of a 0% increase in the first year, a lump sum payment of $1000 and a 1.8% increase a year later.

PPTA president Kate Gainsford said she could see how the Ministry of Education thought such an offer would assist the provision of education in area schools.

“These schools are amongst the hardest to schools to staff in New Zealand because so many of them are remote. The offer does nothing to recognise those challenges and is simply unacceptable to our members.

“An offer that erodes current teachers’ conditions and does not even meet the cost of living shows yet again the value the government attaches to the work done in schools,” she said.

NZEI president Frances Nelson said teachers in area schools or wharekura also faced different challenges because those schools had children from years 1 to 13.

The executives of both NZEI and PPTA had already rejected the offer and would be asking members in area schools to endorse this. Members would also be asked to approve strike action in term 1 next year, should no settlement be in sight.

“This would see all teachers coming together as a profession to protect fundamental issues threatening the quality of public education in New Zealand,” Gainsford said.

ENDS

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