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Minister hopes for positive start to 2003 year

16 December 2002 Media Statement

Minister hopes for positive start to 2003 school year

Education Minister Trevor Mallard is hoping for a positive start to the 2003 secondary school year by offering to go back to the Alternative Disputes Resolution Panel with the PPTA over the issue of non-degree teachers accessing a new top pay rate.

“I want a positive end to this issue, as we head into Christmas and the festive season. I also want a clean and positive start to the 2003 secondary school year so teachers and their students can focus on education, with no other distractions,” Trevor Mallard said.

The Alternative Disputes Resolution Panel in August recommended a $250 million settlement to the secondary teachers’ pay dispute that was ratified by 88 percent of the PPTA’s members. But the panel at the time said it couldn’t make a definitive recommendation about what should happen to the non-degree teachers.

“Recommendation 14 of the ADR’s final recommendations for the settlement of the secondary teachers collective agreement, states that the panel was prepared to reconvene if the parties were unable to “resolve the issue of whether G3 equivalent teachers should access the additional increment payable on 5 February, 2003, or the new step 14’,” Trevor Mallard said.

“The ministry, on my instruction, is agreeing to the panel reconvening to give a recommendation on the issue left open by recommendation 14.”

“The ministry will propose a list of degree-equivalent qualifications to the ADR panel,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Research has been going on to determine exactly which qualifications will be assessed as being degree-equivalent (level 7 or above on the NZQA qualifications framework) to enable teachers to access the new top salary scale. For instance, the Diploma in Home Science and Diploma in Physical Education from Otago University meet this test, as do other qualifications around the country.”

Attached is a copy of the Ministry of Education’s letter to the PPTA.

16 December 2002

Mr Kevin Bunker
National Secretary
60 Willis Street

Dear Kevin

Ministers have reviewed whether the Alternative Dispute Resolution Panel should be reconvened to reconsider and finally resolve the issue of G3 Equivalent Teachers.

Ministers decided before last week’s mediation that they would be willing to see the Panel reconvened if necessary. They have now confirmed that the Panel should be reconvened pursuant to recommendation 14 of the Panel’s final recommendations dated 19 August 2002. As a consequence, I will be making arrangements to reconvene the Panel with all possible speed.

I should explain the background to this decision.

Government does not concede that there is any legal obligation to reconvene the Panel on recommendation 14, and remains of the view that reference of this issue to the Ministerial Taskforce on Secondary Teacher Remuneration would be appropriate. However, Government acknowledges the urgent need to resolve the issue relating to G3 Equivalent Teachers.

You will be aware that considerable progress has been made on assessing qualifications as comparable to a degree, or level 7, on the Qualifications Framework. This work is on-going and will be made available to the Panel.

Yours sincerely

Chris Collins
Senior Manager

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