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Unpaid Leave Descriminatory To Primary Teachers

New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says that sabbatical leave provisions negoitated between the Government and the primary teachers’ union, NZEI, are blatantly discriminatory and intends to take the matter to the Human Rights Commission.

The agreement gives unpaid sabbatical leave to some primary teachers, but only to those who work in decile 1-6 schools.

“This arbitrary discrimination makes a nonsense of the concept of ‘teachers-as- professionals’,” said Mr Peters.

“This is clearly discriminatory against certain teachers. City school teachers like those in Tauranga will not be included. New Zealand First supports the unpaid sabbatical leave provisions, but believes that this should be extended to all teachers.

“Mr Maharey admitted in Parliament yesterday that extending the scheme to all teachers would not cost anymore than the proposed plan. This begs the question; why wouldn’t they extend it to all teachers unless there was some political motivation?

“New Zealand First calls on the Government and the NZEI to relitigate these provisions to all teachers, otherwise we intend to lay a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

“My colleague and New Zealand First Education Spokesperson Brian Donnelly will be taking up Steve Maharey’s suggestion to discuss the matter and will try to persuade him to extend the provision,” concluded Mr Peters.

ENDS

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