• Wyatt Creech

The Education Minister today clarified the time frame for negotiations between the State Services Commission and the PPTA - in case today's talks don't result in a settlement.

"I hope agreement will be reached today - but if more time is needed there is plenty available. We want to get the dispute resolved quickly, but I would be disappointed if the PPTA felt today was the last chance," Mr Creech said.

The PPTA has said it hoped to reached agreement tonight - because as election campaigning is due to start on September the first teacher stop work meetings next week offer the last opportunity for a ratified settlement.

"To clarify the situation - the State Services Commission will keep negotiating as long as it takes to get a deal. To make any progress negotiations must continue," Mr Creech said.

"The Government has told the PPTA many times it is committed to a settlement and will work overtime to get one - with or without election campaigning.

Mr Creech said he wanted the dispute resolved as quickly as possible.

"At the end of the day a settlement must be reached. The Government has already indicated its willing to move at the margins of the pay claim - as long as the final settlement ensures we have quality teachers in our classrooms."