Secondary teachers’ union says pay offer inadequate, will resume strike action

The secondary teachers’ union has told its members the latest pay offers from the Ministry of Education are inadequate.

The ministry made revised offers to primary, area and secondary school teachers on Tuesday which the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) and the Educational Insitute shared with their membersovernight.

The offers included identical pay deals – a lump sum payment of $4500 and three pay rises totalling between 11 percent and more than 16 percent by the end of next year.

Unlike the previous three-year offers, the new offers had a two-year term and provided the first pay rises in June and July rather than backdating them to December 2022.

The unions told their members the changes had allowed the ministry to “front-load” the offer to provide bigger pay rises and lump-sum payments at the start of the agreement.

The Educational Institute said the lump sum payment was about $2500 more than most teachers would have got from backdating the first pay rise to December last year. Non-union members would get $3000.

The union told its members it would not make any recommendations about how to vote, but the the PPTA told its members they should reject the offers.

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Talking to many parents, there is a growing sense of frustration and resentment towards teachers that I’ve never heard in NZ before.

There is a real sense that our kids are not getting ahead educationally and that school has morphed into a baby sitting for our kids feelings.

Gen Xers and Boomers grew up in an educational philosophy that stated ‘Be the best you can be’. The idea was you were in a constant competition with yourself to perform with personal excellence in the field you did best in.

It unfortunately also used Bell Curve graph ruthlessness that ensured 50% failed regardless of whether they actually passed. That created generations of lost potential. Instead of reform the Belle Curve mentality, we went completely the other way with Tomorrow’s Schools in dumping all the responsibility onto local communities without any of the resourcing.

That manifested a completely different philosophy.

Millennials and under were brought up in an educational philosophy of ‘everyone is special’.

You can quickly see the problem.

Schools seem to have been given carte blanche to define educational achievement as they like with the most important factor being the feelings of the child.

It seems to have produced a brittle generation who require constant nurturing and cuddles rather than stoic self reliance and independence of critical thinking agency.

On top of this are Teacher’s constantly striking and closing down in the middle of the day when the rain starts.

Teacher’s are making parents lives far more difficult than they currently are and it seems like they are fighting over very little of significance.

Let’s be completely honest – currently all we are being offered in education from any of the Political Parties are band-aids to haemorrhaging problems within education.

Teachers deserve 4 day weeks + more pay + extra resources + a teacher’s aid in each class + provide bonded scholarships with accomodation for new teachers!

Teachers work miracles with our kids, and as much as I roll my eyes at what the kids are getting taught these days, I’m still in awe of what NZ Teachers can achieve with the little they have.

There are few silver bullets in social policy, education is one of them.

We need to nurture an education environment that respects Teachers and resources them properly because our Schools are central hubs within our community that can and must be utilised and supported more.

Schools need to be used after hours for adult education classes that we should be funding.

Schools should be used to create gardens and farms for local food security and to use in free breakfasts and lunches.

We need to use our schools as entry points for counsellors and social services for the wider community.

We need to fully fully fully fund our public education rather than inject false competition models or new bureaucratic structures and we need to ensure a central curriculum of math, science, physical education and critical thinking are providing the tools for our kids to learn.

That takes far more money and it takes a Government with the courage to tax the fucking rich more so that excellent public education continues to be the egalitarian pillar of New Zealand!

Striking for band aids that don’t go anywhere towards the required solutions seems so limited and shallow.

Teacher’s will keep parents on their side when Teachers fight for transformative change, not just extending perks for long serving members.

I don’t wish to be critical of the Teacher Union Negotiators, I am certain that they are as talented and as magnificent as the Green Party Strategists, but could I humbly suggest the following?

You have the most political muscle you will ever have, over play your hand and allow National to benefit and you will rue the day you screwed this up.

If you think negotiating while a friendly Labour Party are in power is difficult, imagine negotiating with National while David Seymour starts the chainsaw.

Kick the extra wage increases into a 2 year review, but gain something of magnitude that gives Teachers a win and real relief.

Negotiate 3 extra days annual leave for Teachers.

If we can’r pay them more, provide better conditions.

Take the deal.

Kick the extra upgrades into a 2v year review.

Gain 3 extra days of annual paid leave.

Do it, do it now before you start burning Parental support and hand National the election.

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