Government’s collective agreement offers rejected by PPTA national executive
“We need collective agreements that contain salaries and conditions that will help stem the worsening shortage of subject specialist teachers in our high schools and area schools,” says Melanie Webber, president of PPTA Te Wehengarua.
“We need salaries and conditions that will attract people into secondary teaching and keep existing teachers in the profession. We have explained this to the Ministry in months of negotiations. However, the offer they have presented to us fails to address our concerns.
“The national executive (the governing body of PPTA Te Wehengarua) decided we simply had to reject this offer outright, as it was that far away from what we had hoped for.
At the paid union meetings in a couple of weeks time, we will be asking members to endorse our decision and decide the next steps in our campaign for a satisfactory settlement.”
PPTA Te Wehengarua’s claims for new collective agreements for its 20,000 secondary and area school teacher members include a cost of living-adjusted pay increase,
significantly more guidance counsellors in schools to work with the increasing numbers of students and their families struggling with mental health and social issues, and workload controls to make teachers’ jobs more manageable.
“Teachers are leaving the profession because they can be paid more and have a work / life balance. Teaching is an amazing profession – the joy at seeing the delight on the faces of rangatahi when something clicks for them, when they eventually grasp how to solve a particular accounting problem. Schools desperately need more staff who are trained and skilled to work with troubled students and their families.
“Sadly, I hear more and more about fantastic young graduates who won’t even consider a career in secondary teaching because they’ve got parents or friends who are secondary teachers and they see how demanding the work is.
“Secondary teachers shape the future generation and equip rangatahi with the skills and knowledge they need to live their best lives – what more meaningful and valuable work can there be? Unless the shortage of secondary teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand is addressed through adequate salaries and conditions, the quality of secondary education is seriously compromised for a generation of children. “
“The Government needs to invest now in secondary teachers, our rangatahi and the future of Aotearoa New Zealand.”