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Minister punishes non-union principals

Dr Nick Smith National Education Spokesperson

9 October 2003

Minister punishes non-union principals

School principals who are not members of the teachers union are to be punished by several thousand dollars in the latest pay settlement, says National's Education Spokesperson Nick Smith, after being approached by angry principals.

"It speaks volumes about the Government's approach to education that union membership is more important than performance in determining principals' salaries. It is outrageous that those principals who are union members are to get several thousand dollars more than principals who are not," Dr Smith said.

The Education Circular 2003/17 of 3rd October 2003 on the principals' pay settlement states that union members will receive back pay to the 9th July 2003 whereas other principals will not be eligible for the increase until after 9 October 2003.

"A principal who enquired of the Ministry as to why there was this discrimination against non-union principals, was told it was a dictate from the Education Minister," he said.

"This decision is not only cynical politics but it undermines sound management of our schools.

"Principals have a duty to act as an advocate for students and the community in cases like last year's teachers' strike, but their role will be compromised by this re-unionising of principals into the teachers' union. The Minister is putting Labour funds and union backing ahead of the needs of students and schools," Dr Smith said.

Ends

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