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Ministry slams “disruptive” new strike threats

The Ministry of Education maintains that the government is doing all it can do to alleviate teachers’ stress.

Ellen MacGregor-Reid, Deputy Secretary for Early Learning and Student Achievement made the following announcement this week:

“A threat of strike is disruptive for everyone involved. It does not offer a solution. Should a decision be made for further strike action, NZEI will be invited to return to facilitated bargaining with the Employment Relations Authority and the PPTA will also be invited to begin facilitated bargaining.

“Teachers and primary principals are being offered around $1.2 billion in pay increases and classroom release time.

“This is in addition to $217 million being invested in 600 Learning Support Coordinators to help teachers support children and young people with additional learning needs.

“The offers give around 24,000 teachers about $10,000 more in their pay packets within 24 months of signing up.

“Others will get at least 3% pay rises every year for per year for three years. We have invited and remain open to talking to the unions about how we can address their time to teach and other concerns outside the pay talks.”

Ministry provides background on latest offer:

Cost of Claims: The cost to meet the unions’ claims which includes at least 15% pay rises are in total $3.9 billion: NZEI $2.5 billion; PPTA $1.4 billion.

Primary Teacher Pay Parity: The salary rates for primary and secondary teachers are different, but depending on their qualifications and years of teaching that does not mean that all primary teachers are, or have been, paid less than secondary teachers.

For example, a teacher with a teaching degree beginning employment in a primary school this year will have a higher starting rate than if they were employed in a secondary school.

To note, offers made to NZEI members and PPTA members have traditionally been of similar value. Members of the two teacher unions have made different choices about the shape of the offer they have accepted that best matches their particular preferences within the overall amount available for settling.

Primary offer summary: The new pay offer would see more than 30,000 primary teachers receive a 3% pay rise every year for three years, and access to higher maximum steps in the pay scale.

As well, they were also offered the option to either bring forward access to the new top pay step by 12 months, or have extra classroom release time.

For more information on the $698 million offer to Primary principals and teachers visit: http://www.education.govt.nz/news/fact-sheet-on-new-offer-to-primary-teachers-and-principals/

The Employment Relations Authority described the NZEI’s claims as unrealistic and our offer as handsome and competitive.

Secondary offer summary: The new pay offer would see 70% (15,000) secondary teachers get a $7,200 salary increase after 12 months, increasing to almost $10,000 (an annual salary of $87,790) after 24 months.

The majority of secondary teachers, receive extra remuneration, for taking on additional responsibilities. 12,000 (57%) secondary teachers are paid above the top of the base scale.

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