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Tolley wrong about 90 day fire at will Bill

11 December Media Statement

Tolley wrong about National’s 90 day fire at will Bill


Education Minister Anne Tolley must explain to the education sector how she could get it so wrong when she told delegates at the NZEI conference during the election campaign that schools would be exempt from National’s plans to erode workers’ rights, Labour education spokesperson Chris Carter said today.

“Anne Tolley told an NZEI conference in Rotorua that teachers would be exempt from National’s Employment Relations Amendment Bill (see link below).

“But the Bill makes no provision to exempt schools from the legislation. Anne Tolley needs to explain to teachers why she said it would.

“The changes will compound staff shortages for small schools and Early Childhood Centres.

“At least 30 per cent of New Zealand’s 2,600 schools have 20 or less employees. Many of these schools are in remote rural areas or hard to staff urban centres. Most of these small schools are already experiencing staffing challenges, particularly in finding experienced principals.

“National’s legislation creates a real possibility of dismissal in the first 90 days of employment, with no recourse or appeal. This will be a major concern for teachers.

“During the election campaign National made much of the difficulty of staffing an expanding ECE sector. Most kindergartens and Early Childhood Centres have small staff numbers and will be affected by the 90 day rule.

“This flipflop along with her reluctance to front media over the Education (National Standards) Amendment Bill will do little to improve the new Education Minister’s credibility with the education sector or the general public,” said Chris Carter.

Watch Anne Tolley speaking at the conference and making the gaffe at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ir2anqvJ-Dc

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