Posted by: blogger on 12, Mar, 2010
This government doesn’t seem to have the slightest commitment to the idea that employers should act in good faith or that the State Sector Act 1988 (s77A) requires schools to “operate a personnel policy that complies with the principles of being a good employer”.
When it announced its poorly thought-through decision to can ACE (night schools) funding within the 2010 year, it appears to have had no clue as to how schools were meant to pay redundancy costs except that they should use whatever spare ACE money they had. Even a quick risk analysis would have told them that schools would not have enough to pay if the employees had had a lengthy period of employment.
When PPTA pointed this out to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), the agency responsible for ACE funding they were told TEC couldn’t help as it had no money. PPTA took the matter up with the Minister who pronounced dismissively that, “schools should not have made permanent appointments with annual funding”. PPTA pointed out that no way was it annual funding back in the mists of time when these appointments were made but the Minister had made up her mind and was determined not to be troubled by any inconvenient facts.
Now PPTA has been forced to consider compliance action against schools whose operations grants can’t carry the redundancy costs because our ACE members have a legal contract and must be paid out. Meanwhile, TEC, the ministry of education and the government hide from consequences. Apparently there has been talk about the government asking the State Service Commissioner to develop yet another behaviour code for teachers on top of the multiple ones that already exist. He might be better engaged in developing a code for more ethical employment behaviour from governments and government departments.