Secondary teachers vote to accept government offer – PPTA

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Secondary teachers have voted to accept the government’s offer to settle their collective agreement.

Meetings were held around the country this week for teachers to discuss the offer and vote. Sixty-five percent of members voted to ratify the deal.

PPTA president Jack Boyle says, “I heard from members about their passion for the profession and their concerns that the offer was not what they expected to address workload or secondary teacher shortages. It was, however, a step forward.”

“In accepting the offer members are putting their hope into the accord with NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Government. They are expecting that it will act quickly to bring significant reductions in workload and an increase in the number of New Zealanders training to become secondary teachers and stem the flow of those leaving because of excessive workloads. This settlement gives it some space to do that critical work.”

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“The accord provides an opportunity to make immediate and sustainable changes that will attract great people into secondary teaching and retain those teachers who are currently struggling with excessive workloads.”

“We will be working with the government to make those goals a reality. We need to, if we are to have the secondary teachers New Zealand needs to be the best place to be a child, and where every young person leaves school with the skills, confidence, values and knowledge that will allow them to make the most of every opportunity.”

Main components of the offer include
• A lump sum payment of $1500 for union members only.
• Salary rises around 3% on 1 July this year and each of the next two years with a new top step of $90,000 on 1 July 2021.
• Management units moving to $5000, Middle Management Allowances and Senior Management Allowances to $2000 on 28 January 2020.
• Payment of the High Priority Teacher Supply Allowance at $2500 for all eligible teachers.
• An increase to the Careers Advisor Allowance from $1500 to $2250.
• Enhanced Māori Immersion Teacher Allowance.
• 1000 new Management units from the start of 2020.
• A $5 million per year professional development fund for conferences and seminars, to be administered jointly by PPTA and the Ministry of Education.
• Changes to parental leave provisions so they are gender neutral.
• No pass on of the new terms and conditions to non-members for 3 months.