PPTA News PPTA News is the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association.

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Approximately 18,000 copies of PPTA News are distributed free to secondary and area schools and other institutions.

Not all the opinions expressed within PPTA News reflect those of the PPTA.

Enquiries should be addressed to: The Editor, PPTA News, PO Box 2119, Wellington, New Zealand. Phone: 04 3849964; Fax: 04 3828763; Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PPTA News June 2015

pptanews coverJune2015The June 2015 issue of PPTA News: the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA).


PPTA News v.36 (4) June 2015


Table of contents:

ERO's quick-fix heroes - President's viewpoint p.3;
Forces align against bullying (Pink shirt day) p.4;
Don't talk back (Cyberbullying) p.5;
Freedom beyond violence (White Ribbon movement) p.6;
What will the Vulnerable Children Act 2015 mean for teachers? p.7;
Parental leave provisions reinforced p.7;
Camera angles (STCA campaign) p.8;
What's the buzz (Shave for a cure) p.9;
Letter - Save the National Library lending service p.10;
What does discipline look like? (Field Officer advice) p.11.

icon PPTA News June 2015 (volume 36 no.4)


PPTA News April / May 2015

PPTA News cover April 2015The April / May 2015 issue of PPTA News: the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA).


PPTA News v.36 (3) April / May 2015

Table of contents:

Authorisation bought - President's viewpoint p.3;
Ideas generation (PPTA Network of Establishing Teachers (NETs) conference) p.4;
Northland PPTA says no to TPPA p.5;
Holding back the iHunch p.6;
The charade behind the facade (Charter schools) p.8;
Dealing with the discrete material of racism (Book review) p.10;
Lessons in print (interview with author and PPTA member Denis Wright) p.10;
Offering vocal support (Health and safety) p.11;
Members snub exclusive club (Educanz) p.12;
Call back days: a couple of cases (Field Officer advice) p.14.


icon PPTA News April / May 2015 (volume 36 no. 3)


Relief? Not entirely

PPTA’s newest advisory officer Doug Clark offers some tips for day relief teachers drawn from his recent experiences in the classroom.

Schools rely on casual relieving teachers. They allow training days, sick days and a myriad of other events to occur. Some schools treat them well while others can treated them with disdain and occasionally with downright hostility and comments like, “It’s easy, no marking or preparation, off home at 3:30”.

I would like to debunk some of these misunderstandings.

The working realities of a day reliever are;
• A salary rate capped at step 6 ($56,741).
• No security or guarantee of work.
• Often no chance to form good relationships with students.
• Often poor or inappropriate work set or none at all.
• Expected behavioural standards vary between (and often within) schools and relievers often get little advice about (or support from) the school’s discipline systems.
• There is often no induction process to assist day relieving teachers.
• Even the best classes play up for relievers - remember your own school days?


PPTA News March 2015

The March 2015 issue of PPTA News: the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA).
PPTA News March 2015  

PPTA News v.36 (2) March 2015

Table of contents

Doing more with less makes us all mad - President's viewpoint p.3;
Plaudits for Pukekohe branch chair (Guy Allan Award) p.4;
First charter school on last warning p.5;
Robin Duff (Obituary) p.6;
New Zealand Sign Language taster classes for schools p.7;
Rainbow network Facebook page p.7;
Diminishing returns (National Library) p.8;
Battle lines drawn over Educanz (Teachers Council) p.9;
Polyfest release day entitlements p.10;
Working out what works (researchEd conference with Michaela Pinkerton) p.11; 
Relief? Not entirely (Relief teaching) p.12;
Managing teacher contact time: 3 case studies (Field Officer advice) p.13;
Pay claim - catch up and keep up? (Issues and Organising seminar) p.14;
Materialism returns to the political agenda (Dr Bryce Edwards - Issues and Organising seminar) p.15;
Domestic violence as a workplace issue p.15.


icon PPTA News March 2015 (volume 36 no. 2)


Supermarket heroes: PPTA members support local Pak N Save workers

Assisted in part by a local PPTA branch, workers at Porirua Pak N Save won a four-month pay dispute.

Pak n Save Porirua picketThe Pak N Save workers, members of First Union, had been negotiating improved wages and conditions to put them on a par with the local Countdown and a neighbouring Pak N Save in Kilbirnie, but the employer’s best offer was still well short.

With nothing to lose, the workers turned to the community for support, calling on locals to join pickets, send messages to the store manager and even to take their grocery dollars down the road.

Local school communities were well aware of the dispute, with a number of parents and secondary students employed by Pak N Save, so they needed little invitation to act.

Mana College PPTA branch chair Pauline Thorby said the school was very aware of the effect low wages had on the community and the level of achievement and opportunity for its students.

“Our branch had earlier approached our own principal and board of trustees to discuss becoming a ‘living wage’ employer at the college so we understood the issues,” she said.

“We felt supporting the Pak n Save workers was actually a tangible way of supporting our students and their whanau, many of whom work there.”


PPTA News February 2015

PPTA News Feb 2015 coverThe February 2015 issue of PPTA News: the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA).


PPTA News v.36 (1) February 2015

Table of contents:

Jekyll & Hyde - President's viewpoint p.3;
On debut (Two new faces PPTA National Office) p.4;
From the heart (PB4L at Avondale College) p.5;
Respect and identity (Transgender in schools) p.6;
Supermarket heroes (First Union Pak N Save workers & Mana College) p.7;
Paid parental leave has been extended p.8;
Caregiver's equal pay win a boost for all women p.8;
Recognition for services to Pasifika education p.9;
Hub with ripples (Pond) p.10;
Pond - one teacher's experience (Wellington High, Tony Cairns) p.10;
Join the discussion (PPTA online) p.12;
Charges likely (Teachers to pay for their own police vetting?) p.13;
All there in black and white (Melanie Webber - STCA need to know posters) p.14; 
Fixed term appointments - ground hog day? (Field Officer advice) p.15.


icon PPTA News February 2015 (volume 36 no. 1) 


Maternity grant win

A three-year dispute between PPTA and the Ministry of Education regarding the ministry’s refusal to pay a second maternity grant to a member has been resolved in PPTA’s favour.

The Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement (STCA) parental provisions (clause 6.3) entitle female teachers to take up to 24 months’ maternity leave without pay with a maternity grant equal to six weeks’ salary.

Maternity leave grant entitlement calculated as 'nil' by Ministry of Education

Wellington secondary teacher Deborah Marshall was on maternity leave following the birth of her son in 2008 when she became pregnant with twins. She applied for a second maternity grant but was declined by the ministry on the grounds that the grant calculation would be based on how much she’d earn in the last six weeks prior to her second allocation of leave. The ministry concluded that, given she would already be on maternity leave in that period, her grant entitlement would be nil. It said this reflected the fact that the parental provisions didn’t entitle female teachers to take two consecutive allocations of maternity leave following the birth of subsequent children.

Negotiating a successful resolution with the help of PPTA

Sensing that the ministry wasn’t interpreting the parental provisions correctly, Deborah got PPTA to assist her with negotiating a resolution. Months of discussions and mediation followed to no avail. The case eventually went before the New Zealand Employment Relations Authority (ERA) who ruled that there was nothing in the STCA to suggest a second allocation of maternity leave could not immediately follow a first with the birth of a subsequent child.


Phoney philanthropy

To what extent is education in New Zealand for sale? - Massey University professor John O’Neill has been investigating “the relentless push of the privateers” into education decision making.

Phoney philanthropy

During a presentation of his research to PPTA’s annual conference O’Neill spoke of seeing a shift to education “policy networks” that blur the divide between public and private.

Teach First NZ - How charitable is ‘charity’?

One area where this was becoming apparent was teacher training, O’Neill said.

As part of his research he investigated Teach First NZ - an organisation presenting itself as a philanthropically funded alternative to state funded initial teacher education.

“Teach First presents itself as an opportunity for high performing graduates to have a CV building opportunity - it’s not teaching for life, it’s teaching to build your CV for whatever career you plan to go on to,” he said.

O’Neill dug deeper to see how charitable the organisation really was and found some interesting connections.

Teach First NZ is notionally philanthropically funded but also has prominent partners from the public sector - University of Auckland and the Ministry of Education - as well as what O’Neill calls the “big players” private companies such as ASB, Chapman Tripp and Deloitte. There are also a number of high profile international philanthropic private foundations and, a local sounding entity, the Aotearoa Foundation.

O’Neill’s main concern around Teach First NZ was its lack of transparency. “If you look at the partners you have corporate actors trying to influence state education in the form of initial teacher education.”

He was also surprised to discover what he thought would be a New Zealand charity - the Aotearoa Foundation - was actually registered in New York. Its philanthropic source is Julian Robertson (a hedge fund billionaire infamous for tax avoidance) and his Robertson Foundation, a Cayman Island entity.

“The thing I find an anathema is venture philanthropists, who have made billions out of their activities in the financial sector, giving back to us the money they are avoiding paying in personal and corporate taxation. That’s the main reason the state education system is underfunded in the first place.

“These are the networks which we are intended to know nothing about but which are becoming extraordinarily powerful when it comes to deciding the direction of state education.”

John O'Neill quote