5 August, 2011
PPTA vice president Kate Gainsford today expressed surprise and concern over education minister Anne Tolley’s pre-emptive comments about the restructuring of the Resource Teachers – Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) service.
The service helps schools deal with challenging student behaviour, but Gainsford said the ministry’s restructuring proposals will create jobs that are severely short of employment security and professional support.
“We have been raising serious concerns with the ministry for the last four months about its apparent disregard for looking after specialist teachers’ employment protections and contractual entitlements when there is an acknowledged shortage of behaviour management specialists,” she said.
“I’m surprised the minister announced the restructuring of the service as an apparent fait accompli.”
“The ministry may not have kept her informed of the potential legal challenge PPTA is considering.”
“The proposal is to disestablish RTLB positions with their current employing schools and move them arbitrarily to new places,” she said.
“RTLB will have no certainty about which school they will actually be based in. The ministry has not provided assurance that these teachers’ current contractual protections will be respected. It is important to respect the law in such matters.”
“Neither has it assured RTLB that those who may be pushed into a highly precarious new employment situation will not be disadvantaged by doing so.”