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

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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


PPTA News Nov-Dec 2014

PPTA News cover Nov/Dec 2014The Nov-Dec 2014 issue of PPTA News: the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA).


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.

icon PPTA News Nov-Dec 2014 (volume 35 no. 10)




Novopay's walking wounded

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.

Novopay walking wounded 2014

Article published in:

 icon PPTA News October 2014 (volume 35 no.9)


PPTA News October 2014

PPTA News cover October 2014The October 2014 issue of PPTA News: the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA).

PPTA News v.35 (9) October 2014

Table of contents:

Step inside the gates - President's viewpoint p.3;
Novopay's walking wounded p.4;
Former president farewelled p.5;
New doco details daily toil of teachers p.5;
A stormy year (Annual Conference) p.6;
Going the distance (Phillipstown Technology Centre) p.8;
Financial irresponsibility (Charter schools) p.10;
Government set to slash your rights at work p.11;
ASPIRE retirement scheme transfer p.11;
Tackling teen depression and anxiety (Stand by me - book review) p.12;
Letters - Time for an editorial policy on gender equity? p.12;
So there is a falling roll ... (Field Officer advice) p.14;
Some PRTs required to do teacher ed refresh courses (Field Officer advice) p.14;
Make sure you're in the know before you vote (IES) p.16.


icon PPTA News October 2014 (volume 35 no.9)

#edchatnz followers meet face-to-face

Te Aroha College teacher and Twitter convert Samantha Mortimer (@sammortimer70) attended the inaugural #edchatnz conference at Hobsonville Point Secondary School.

I discovered #edchatnz earlier this year when I finally decided to give Twitter a proper go. I’d had an account for a couple of years but never found my calling - I was already using Facebook personally and loved to try new technology but couldn’t see the point of Twitter. However, a couple of young teachers at school had been singing its praises for a while and they seemed to have lots of innovative exciting ideas around pedagogy, so I thought I would try again.

My attempts to connect with the Twitter world would have failed again but I found the #edchatnz community - which meets on Twitter every second Thursday from 8.30 to 9.30pm. It’s a time to be challenged about a number of issues in education with the central question always - how can we do the best for our students? This is led by the remarkable @MissDtheTeacher otherwise known as Danielle Myburgh who is the host and founder. Although Danielle tweeted on international education sites she found there was no way to connect to New Zealand teachers on Twitter so she decided to start her own hashtag and #edchatnz was born in 2012.


PPTA News September 2014

PPTA News Cover Sept 2014The September 2014 issue of PPTA News: the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA).

PPTA News v.35 (8) September 2014

Table of contents:

ACT chokes on choice - President's viewpoint p.3;
Novopay - legal action update p.4;
Spotlight on Maori education p.5;
IES interim agreement p.6;
PPTA complaint sparks investigation of State Service Commission p.7;
Videos to spur young voters p.7;
Education on the hustings p.8;
Minister takes credit where it's not due p.9;
Campaigning for women.10;
#edchatnz followers meet face-to-face p.11;
Transforming practice through collaboration p.12;
Thanks Kate ... and Kate and Kate ... p.13;
Is the grass greener in Ireland? (Field Officer advice) p.14;
More time and less plastic (letters) p.14.

icon PPTA News September 2014 (volume 35 no.8)

PPTA News August 2014

The August 2014 issue of PPTA News: the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA).

PPTA News Cover August 2014

PPTA News v.35 (7) August 2014

Table of contents:

Shabby charter school quango feels the heat - President's viewpoint p.3;
Pasifika fono unites threads p.4;
A focus on Maori and Pasfika achievement p.5;
Under new management (appointment of PPTA General Secretary) p.6;
18,000 lone voices (EDUCANZ) p.7;
10 parties, 10 questions p.8;
ACC resource for healthy teen relationships p.10;
Students say it's not OK (anti-violence) p.11;
Charter disaster spans the globe (charter schools) p.12;
Teachers want subject-specific PLD p.13;
Parental leave, childcare credits and Novopay pitfalls (Field Officer advice) p.14;
Language teaching policy a matter of urgency p.14.

icon PPTA News August 2014 (volume 35 no. 7)



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