‘By Principals, For Principals’ – new union is born

The Primary Principals’ Collective Bargaining Union (PPCB) has officially been born.

Incorporated into a society on Thursday 25 August, the bespoke union for primary principals is the result of efforts by the New Zealand Principals’ Federation’s executive, after a members’ survey showed 81% wanted a union ‘By Principals, For Principals’. 

NZPF President Perry Rush announced, “PPCB is alive and kicking! I am incredibly proud of the hard work and energy of the NZPF Executive in reaching this significant and historic milestone.

“As a membership driven organisation NZPF has sought to deliver on our members’ call for industrial representation that is ‘By Principals, For Principals’. A survey issued in May this year found 81.5% of respondents (885) would be most likely to join a bespoke principals’ union, should it become an established option.

“PPCB is that option.”

NZPF President Perry Rush

Rush said NZPF believes ‘we are stronger when we collaborate – principals with principals’. Adding, “Irrespective of who principals choose to represent them in bargaining, principals must work constructively together with the highest possible aspiration for our profession.

“Now that PPCB has been formally established, principals can join. The PPCB website will be launched next week and contains key information about PPCB and a simple e-sign up. Look out for a Special Flyer in your inbox.”

In a media statement, Rush said, “PPCB Head of Union, Denise Torrey and her team of Hayley Read and Tom Paekau, supported by Advisors, Paddy Ford, Patrick Walsh and myself are primed to hear your problems of practice, your dreams for better reward and better workplace conditions, your big tickets asks of the bargaining round, and the small and urgent things in your context that need changing because often the small things can make the biggest difference.

“No issue is too small, and no ask is inconsequential.”

Rush said Denise and the team have already had contact from principals in unique circumstances who are excited to share their dreams and aspirations.  

“Too often collective bargaining for principals has felt distant and removed from the reality of principalship and too often principals’ needs have been subsumed by the needs of the vast education workforce. That needs to change.”

The energy, focus and attention on the needs of principals has been substantially sharpened over the past year. This energy must never dissipate. You can ensure that it doesn’t by joining PPCB immediately on launch so that the team can engage with you and establish a clear sense of the issues you require them to address on your behalf.

Upon joining, Rush says new members will receive an electronic survey to gather perspectives to establish PPCB’s draft claims.

He said, “Please be open, clear and honest about the changes you want to the terms and conditions of your employment and in a broader sense, the environment in which you work. Please tell the PPCB team your story, your reality, your struggles, your successes, your ideas, suggestions and demands for a better professional future. 

“Principalship has changed markedly over the years, and our Collective Agreement hasn’t kept pace, so let’s muscle up together. PPCB brings to you a fresh, focused, and energetic team that is driven by an absolute commitment to fight for you and your interests.”

The initial membership fee is $97.50 (incl GST), a pro-rated rate for the period 1 September to 31 January 2022.

Rush said NZPF has supported members’ collective call for action, adding, “Now we invite you to join the PPCB whānau next week. “


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