30 May 2012
PPTA members will hold paid union meetings next month in a bid to combat government attacks on frontline teaching staff and class size.
President Robin Duff said the cuts amounted to a $300 million claw back of school staffing over the next five years.
On top of the technology centres and intermediate schools which will be hit hard by the cuts, there were nearly 100 year 7 to 13 schools that would be very badly affected.
In many areas year 9 to 13 schools offering technology education would also be hit, he said.
“Subject options will have to be cut and area schools and junior high schools will no longer be able to function the way they were designed to operate.”
While year 7 to 13 schools would be immediately affected, all schools could end up with bigger classes in the future, Duff said.
He rejected education minister Hekia Parata’s claim the government backtrack promising cuts of no more than two fulltime teaching equivalent staff at any school for the first three years was “good news.”
“Losing one teacher is a bad thing for any school, losing two will be a disaster for most,” he said.
Duff said arguments the cuts were designed to improve teacher quality were “fundamentally dishonest” as the evidence showed Treasury and government had been preparing for them since well before the 2011 election.
“If National was so scared about public reaction that they did not include these cuts as part of their election manifesto, then where is the mandate?” he said.
Duff said the PUMs would be used to update members on the impacts of the staffing cuts and to develop a campaign to fight for their reversal.
“If the government had consulted with the education sector in the first place, as it constantly claims it will do, this whole mess might have been avoided,” he said.