PPTA President

Image Angela Roberts PPTA president 2013-2014

News and views from PPTA president Angela Roberts.

Includes the PPTA News viewpoint and his responses to various education issues raised in the media.

(Angela began her presidency mid January 2013)



Jekyll & Hyde? Which government will arrive at the negotiating table this year?

Dealing with the government in recent times has been a little like trying to work with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I am moved to wonder: which government will arrive at the negotiating table this year?

Best education policy is developed with teacher unions

Will it be the government that has shown it understands that the best way to develop education policy is to sincerely and robustly engage with teacher unions? Even though it was difficult to do so, last year we sat at the table with the government and hammered out a useful way to lock in pay and conditions for those of our members who will be involved in the IES initiative from this year. It would be great if they could finally concede that the traditional ideology of the right (that nothing good can come from working with unions) has been resoundingly proven wrong. Is it possible that John Key may want to continue to work with us to strengthen pay and conditions through our collective agreements?

Ensure fair pay and good working conditions

Will it be the government which has a minister of finance who recently demonstrated in the media his understanding of the difference between real and nominal pay rises? Bill English recently noted that we have had “quite a lot of restraint over recent years”. Five years of restraint, in fact. This will require a pretty good nominal increase to simply catch us up and close the real wage gap that has emerged. It’s good to know that we’re on the same page with that argument. If we want to avoid recruitment and retention problems then we must ensure fair pay and good working conditions. If we want a strong and successful public education system we need to invest in the profession.

Five years of pay restraint - teachers will require more than just a catch-up

The nominal wage increase that we need, however, will require more than just a catch-up. English has acknowledged the current demand for skilled people and stated his desire to “make sure that we’ve got public servants who feel they’re well motivated”. Great to hear.