Pay Talks Can Progress Once PPTA Returns to Table

  • Brian Donnelly
Associate Minister of Education (Early Childhood Education and Maori Education)

"We are very disappointed that the PPTA leadership still has not taken the necessary steps to get back into pay talks," Education Minister Wyatt Creech and Associate Education Minister Brian Donnelly said today.

The Government has made it clear all along that it will not negotiate until the PPTA withdraws the Government policy issues from its claim and calls off all industrial action.

"The Education Ministry has an offer ready. It will start negotiating as soon as the PPTA meets the requirements needed to get talks started. It has known of these requirements for months. The delay caused by the slowness of the PPTA leadership in addressing these issues is holding up a pay increase for their members.

"We are very concerned at the misleading information being sent to teachers stating that there are no reasons why talks can't resume.

"The PPTA leadership has now cleared away all policy matters but one, but still has its claim for the Treaty of Waitangi to be included in the contract on the table. While it called off its deeply unpopular proposal to roster students home, it has not stopped local level industrial action. The sooner the PPTA deals with the issues, the sooner talks can commence and a pay offer presented," Mr Creech

Ministers are also concerned at the PPTA's continuing efforts to ferment discord in schools over direct resourcing.

"Under current Government policy, the decision of whether to go into the Fully Funded Direct Resourcing Option is a choice for school boards to make free of duress or unreasonable pressure. We now have clear evidence that the PPTA leadership is deeply involved in orchestrating action. While there is nothing wrong with the PPTA making their views known to boards, such activity must be reasonable.

"The Government will not be fooled by a PPTA claim that so-called "local actions" do not constitute industrial action for negotiation purposes.

"The process has dragged on for far too long. The employment contract needs to be settled so the Government and teachers can get on with making sure young people get the education they need.

"Once the PPTA gets back around the table, real progress can be made on new pay rates for teachers which attract new graduates into teaching, and keeps good teachers in the classroom," the Ministers concluded.