PPTA News is the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association.
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.
Relief? Not entirely
- Last Updated on Sunday, 12 April 2015 21:50
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
- Last Updated on Sunday, 12 April 2015 22:32
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.
Supermarket heroes: PPTA members support local Pak N Save workers
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 February 2015 03:37
Assisted in part by a local PPTA branch, workers at Porirua Pak N Save won a four-month pay dispute.
The 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
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 February 2015 04:10
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.
Maternity grant win
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 21:53
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.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 December 2014 02:24
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.
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.”
PPTA News Nov-Dec 2014
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 22:12
PPTA News v.35 (10) Nov/Dec 2014
Table of contents:
Valuing teachers as one - President's viewpoint p.3;
Two lands connect 2014 (AEU) Federal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Conference) p.4;
Well batted, Norm (Norm Austin reflects on 43 years with the union) p.5;
Coaching Hope (interview with John Kirwan) p.6;
Maternity grant win p.8;
Phoney philanthropy (John O'Neill) p.9;
Variation put to the vote (IES roles) p.10;
Refining specialisation (Specialist Classroom Teacher) p.12;
Standing up for sovereignity (TPPA) p.13;
Standing up to sexual violence p.14;
Government put on notice (EDUCANZ) p.15;
A new round of extravagant funding (charter schools) p.17;
Reimbursements for EOTC ... (Field Officer advice) p.18;
Story with good intentions fails to engage (Book review - Roskill) p.19.
Novopay's walking wounded
- Last Updated on Thursday, 30 October 2014 01:51
PPTA branches throughout the country recognised the casualties of Novopay last month with a series of morning teas to mark two years since the shambolic payroll system was introduced.
Members at Kamo High School looked the part bandaged up as Novopay casualties and lining up at the “Novopay A and E” to share bloodied looking jam muffins.
The morning teas were held between 1-12 September to recognise the impact the error-ridden system has had on teachers and the long-suffering executive (salary) officers who have to deal with it on a daily basis.
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