Secondary teachers reject government’s offer
Today at the PPTA annual conference, delegates representing over 17,000 secondary teachers expressed strong concerns about the impact on secondary teacher recruitment and retention if the government doesn’t make significant improvements to their offer.
They call on the government to come back with an offer that genuinely addresses teacher shortages and excessive workload before paid union meetings begin on 7 November – once senior students have left for exam leave.
PPTA president Jack Boyle says, “Secondary schools are facing an unprecedented shortage of the trained, expert quality teachers that our young people need. We can’t accept this offer: it would leave secondary teaching on the downward trajectory that it’s been on for the last decade, with the attractiveness and sustainability of this great profession being eroded further.”
PPTA members made a claim for significant improvements to pay and conditions in August this year, on the basis of a crisis of secondary teacher shortages and the compounding impact of unsustainable teacher workload.
“The government’s offer doesn’t touch the sides of addressing the problem,” says Boyle.
PPTA has requested a second offer from the government to take out to members at these meetings. If that offer is not forthcoming or is inadequate, members will be voting on industrial action.
“We strongly support the government’s intentions to make sure all learners in New Zealand have high quality and personalised learning opportunties to set them on a path for a great life beyond school. It is deeply disappointing that the challenges facing secondary schools are going to undermine this work. Support for our teaching workforce is urgently needed to bring out the best in our young people.”
PPTA will continue to negotiate with the government in good faith.