Recent PPTA press/media releases.

Link to PPTA webpage Posters and archived releases


Educators join forces for better funding for learning

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Educators from early childhood to secondary schooling are uniting to respond to the government’s latest funding proposal, saying it could result in fewer teachers and larger class sizes.

The government has also refused to explore any increase in funding for education.

PPTA and NZEI Te Riu Roa today announced they are holding combined meetings of their 60,000 members in September. The meetings are to plan a response to the government’s "global funding" proposal, which is effectively a return to the failed bulk funding experiment of the 1990s.

The education unions have never before undertaken joint meetings of this scale, involving principals, teachers and support staff from ECE to secondary. The government's renewed attempt to propose bulk funding would mean all staffing and school operational funding would be delivered to schools on a per-student basis in the form of cash and “credits” for staffing.

This would mean parents on Boards would have to make trade offs between the number of teachers they employ and other non-teaching costs of running a school. This would incentivise:

• Fewer teachers and larger class sizes

• The loss of guaranteed minimum teacher staffing for specific year levels such as new entrants and senior secondary classes

• Increased casualisation of teacher jobs which could undermine quality of teaching

• Further downwards pressure on support staff hours and pay, which is already bulk funded through schools’ operational grants

• Removal of the government’s responsibility for issues such as class size and curriculum breadth

• Removal of certainty about increases in funding to keep up with cost increases or population growth.


Dedicated careers advice for students welcome

26 July 2016

Dedicated careers guidance for all secondary school students would have a big impact on New Zealand’s future, says PPTA president Angela Roberts.

The association welcomes plans by the Labour Party to ensure all high schools have access to professional careers advisory staff, Roberts said.

“PPTA has called for targeted staffing allowances for careers advisors in the past and it looks like that is what Labour is offering with this policy.”

It was important to have a careers advisor who was a trained teacher with the experience and skills to work with young adults, she said.

“What is important is that these people are able to have the tools to be able to tailor the right opportunity to the right student at the right time. It’s not a shortage of information – it’s about people who can recognise the needs of the students and link them up with the information they need,” she said.


Inaccurate charter school media reports

PPTA is in the process of addressing a number of inaccuracies in the media this week about the association’s refusal to work with a Whangarei charter school.

Reports on both One News and the New Zealand Herald contained three significant errors that PPTA is taking action on.

Firstly, the boycott action at Kamo High School was not aimed at students of the Whangarei charter school, but was about an offer that the school made to allow a teacher from the charter school to use a fume cupboard in Kamo’s science lab after school hours. The communication from the principal makes it clear that this was only ever an offer to let one teacher use the facilities.

Secondly, the principal of Kamo High School claimed in her letter to Minister Parata that the “PPTA executive” arrived unannounced for a meeting at the school. This is false. The principal was told several days in advance that the PPTA president was coming to Kamo High School to meet with the branch. This happens regularly all around the country, and a meeting with her was requested, which she rejected.

Thirdly, ACT MP David Seymour claimed in the media that the branch meeting was a ‘stop work meeting’. The meeting with the PPTA president was a lunch time meeting attended by a significant proportion of the branch, in their own time and without any disruption to school activities. 



Minister undermines State Sector Act

25 May 2016 

The education minister is undermining the principles of integrity and honesty in teacher appointments by interfering with a legal decision designed to avoid cronyism.

Today Hekia Parata introduced a supplementary order paper (SOP) to the Education Legislation Bill attempting to water down State Sector Act requirements that all school appointments be made openly, transparently and on merit.

This is despite a legal case taken by PPTA resulting in an agreement between Teach First NZ, Auckland University, the Ministry of Education and the union to work together to uphold the act.

“Our understanding is there has been a government SOP introduced, without consultation and with indecent haste, which would create a separate employment process for student teachers,” PPTA general secretary Michael Stevenson said.

The SOP had been introduced late in the piece, with no opportunity for public submissions, he said.


Charter school ‘pilot’ fooling no one

20 May 2016   

Assurances that ACT’s charter school experiment was just a pilot have been proven false with this afternoon’s announcement of seven new charter schools.

PPTA president Angela Roberts was surprised a new round of charter schools were being opened when New Zealand tax payers had been promised the concept would be a trial.

With a poorly conducted evaluation of the existing schools lukewarm about their efficacy opening more did not make sense, she said.

“There are still a lot of questions to be answered.”

“We have been constantly reassured there would be just a handful of schools which would be robustly evaluated – both of those claims have been proved false,” she said.

“This is not a pilot, it is just a sop to the ACT party’s ideological commitment to favouring the private over the public sector.”


Area school teachers to vote on settlement

13 April 2016     

PPTA and NZEI Te Riu Roa have settled the Area School Teachers' Collective Agreement (ASTCA) – subject to members ratifying it early next term.

The settlement includes a 2% salary increase each year for the first two years and an average of 2.5% for a third.

The pay increases will be backdated to 2 March with two further annual increases on that date in 2017 and 2018.