INDEPENDENT NEWS

Empty Classrooms On The Cards

Published: Wed 5 Sep 2001 04:44 PM
Empty classrooms now seem certain in the next two months as teachers strike over the failure of the Government to settle their pay claim, National's Education spokesperson Gerry Brownlee said today.
"The PPTA must be bitterly disappointed that their pre-election investment in the Labour Party and Trevor Mallard appears not to have paid off.
"The Union began a series of paid stopwork meetings today that will continue over the next two weeks where members will learn just what the Government's offer is," Gerry Brownlee said.
In Parliament today Mr Mallard said he believed teachers would be delighted to learn of the offer. However PPTA President Jen McCutcheon said 'despite continuing negotiations, our concerns have not been addressed by the Government. We have already had mediation with the Ministry of Education and there are not a lot of options left'.
"With growing teacher shortages, increasing work load, a new qualification system to introduce next year, and low teacher morale, teachers are in no mood to be fobbed off by the Government any further. They are in a strong position. The Government is not heeding the market signals.
"If the Minister allows strikes to happen, he will not only jeopardise the learning opportunities of children he will put at risk the goodwill which so many teachers have shown toward the NCEA introduction next year
"The Minister should honour his pre-election commitment to the PPTA and settle this agreement," Gerry Brownlee said.
Ends

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