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.

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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)



Flexibility or just twisted: school opening hours and term dates

Dates image from PPTA News Jul 2014Recently the minister of education expressed some enthusiasm for schools to have “flexibility” around opening hours and term dates. In going down this path she will join a long list of politicians who have burnt their fingers on that particular hot potato.

Schools set their own term dates ...

Over 20 years ago education minister Lockwood Smith proposed dispensing with national consistency around term dates and invited schools to play “set their own”, PPTA president Angela Roberts said.

“They did so with great enthusiasm and little regard for the impact on others.”

Result - widespread inconvenience  

Primary schools took it as an opportunity to experiment with the four-term year while most secondary schools retained the then current three-term year because it worked better for senior assessment.

“That caused widespread inconvenience. Parents who had children at more than one school were infuriated by the holiday mismatch, communities that used student labour in holidays found they were not available at the requisite times and rural communities degenerated into disputes about whose term dates would be served by school buses. Teachers were dismayed that they could not attend subject conferences and professional development because they no longer fell on universal between-term holidays.”

National term dates set ... but with an opt out

The following year, Smith set some national term dates but, because he was unable to concede that the invisible hand of the market could fail to produce anything but order and certainty, he perpetuated the confusion by allowing schools to opt out, Roberts said.

“The chaos continued and the level of frustration grew.”


PPTA news July 2014

The July 2014 issue of PPTA News: the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary pptanewscoverjul2014Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA).

PPTA News v.35 (6) July 2014

Table of contents:

Time to value teacher time - President's viewpoint p.3;
Workers rights still under threat p.4;
Public service strike breaks deadlock p.4;
Regional chairs ready for election p.5;
Low decile schools need support - report p.6;
Health and safety - who is responsible? p.7;
City's unending charter school trauma p.8;
Banks verdict gives government chance to walk away from charter schools p.9;
Spellbound p.10;
Big issue: simple solution (class size) p.11;
Early vote challenge: first to vote in 1893 and first to vote this year p.12;
Flexibility or just twisted (Term dates) p.13;
Good faith, natural justice and productive relationships (Field Officer advice) p.14;
Familiar face in the field (Jason Smythe) p.14.

icon PPTA News July 2014 (volume 35 no.6)



Novopay pulled up for illegal charging

It took a complaint to the Ministry of Education, an opinion from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and a determined PPTA executive member to stop Novopay illegally charging teachers for their own information.

Exec member Jack BoyleA number of PPTA members, including some senior managers responsible for payroll in their schools, made contact with PPTA after discovering Novopay was charging teachers to access their own payroll information. More specifically, an attempt by the Ministry of Education’s failed payroll contractor to impose a $103.50 charge on the NOVO9t form to obtain a Statement of Service.

PPTA President Angela Roberts made contact with the Ministry of Education’s deputy secretary responsible for Novopay Rebecca Elvy to question whether the charge was legal given an employee’s right to access their payroll information under the Employment Relations Act (ERA) and Privacy Act. The ministry refused to budge on the charge, stating Datacom used to charge $50 for the same information.

In one example, a deputy principal who was also his school’s payroll officer- was told by a Novopay call centre operator that, “such charges were common in Australia”.

This sounded fishy, so PPTA sought an opinion on the matter from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner who confirmed public agencies could not charge for such information and private agencies could only make minimal charges in-line with guidelines published by the Ministry of Justice.


PPTA news June 2014

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

PPTA News v.35 (5) June  2014

Table of contents: 

The collaboration challenge - President's viewpoint p.3;
Secondary teachers steal the show (EDUCANZ) p.4;
Pink shirts and new guidelines - schools take stand against bullying p.5;
Paid parental leave campaign makes progress p.5;
Making a scene (Shakespeare festival) p.6;
Game of resilience (SPARX e-therapy tool) p.7;
Novopay (Paul Keene's diary) p.8;
Novopay pulled up for illegal charging p.9;
"Passion for Pasfika education" awarded p.11;
Proposed health and safety changes not all good p.11;
Authorisation board or PR panel? (Charter schools) p.12;
Bonds of war (WW1 centenary) p.13;
The truth about sick leave and medical retirement (Field Officer advice) p.14.

icon PPTA News June 2014 (volume 35 no. 5)



PPTA News May 2014

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


PPTA News v.35 (4) May 2014

Table of contents:

Raising the status of teaching with Botox- President's viewpoint p.3;
Association's supremo signing off (Retirement - Kevin Bunker) p.4;
Silent procession for safer work places p.5;
Unity of purpose ( Education Amendment Bill (No. 2)) p.6;
Is easy access to expertise really so hard? (Professional learning) p.9;
Support and advice post quake p.10;
New field officer joins Hamilton office (Georgie Dansey) p.10.


icon PPTA News May 2014 (volume 35 no. 4)

PPTA news April 2014

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

PPTA News cover April 2014

PPTA News v.35(3) Apr 2014

Table of contents:

Education in political limelight - President's viewpoint p.3;
Education first (PPTA election priorities) p.4;
Demand democracy! (EDUCANZ) p.5;
Survey reveals Joyce underestimates problems (Novopay) p.6;
Unions work with ministy to extend teaching career options (Investing in Educational Success) p.7;
ACC programme to prevent sexual violence p.8;
Councils hear submissions on paying a living wage p.8;
PPTA supports global health & education pact p.9;
Demystifying the Treaty of Waitangi workshops p.10;
Preventing and responding to workplace bullying p.10.


icon Download PPTA News April 2014 (volume 35 no.3)

Stitching circuits

Most young people in the developed world are immersed in consuming digital technologies from birth. But the interconnectedness of everyday life is not being translated into a passion for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and women are the largest under-represented and under-recognised group in the STEM professions. Former PPTA field officer Diane McCarthy attends a special e-textiles workshop in Christchurch to see STEM lights literally go on in young Kiwi women’s eyes.


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