Secondary teachers threaten strikes over pay offer

It is the turn of secondary teachers to threaten strikes after receiving an ‘insulting’ pay offer of 3% per year over three years (many workers would be pleased if they got that much).

RNZ: Secondary teachers reject ‘insulting’ pay offer

The union said the Education Ministry had offered three pay rises of three per cent a year for most teachers, 2.5 percent a year for new teachers, and two percent a year for others, as well as increased allowances for extra duties.

Delegates to the PPTA’s conference in Wellington said the offer was insulting and voted unanimously to refuse it.

The union said its members would vote next month on strike action unless the government made a better offer.

The vote followed Monday’s decision by members of the primary teachers’ union, the Educational Institute, to vote on strike action over their pay talks.

Earlier today the secondary teachers union challenged the Education Minister, Chris Hipkins, to put his money where his mouth is.

Mr Hipkins told the conference the teacher shortage was top of his list of problems to deal with, but the government could not solve it overnight.

He said the problem would never be fixed if teachers told those considering the career it was not a good job.

“While I understand your frustration that things have reached this point, we won’t turn it around, possibly ever, if the message our prospective future teachers get from today’s teachers is that it’s a profession not worth joining,” he said.

He said the government could not undo nine years of neglect in one year and urged teachers to work in partnership with the government to improve the education system.

“I’m not asking you to bear with us as we address years of educational neglect and underfunding. You are bearing enough already,” he said.

“I’m asking you to work in partnership with us, and to rebuild your trust with government that has been so abused in recent years, as we together build the world’s best education system for all our children and young people.”

RNZ:  Secondary teachers may strike after ‘insulting’ pay offer

Members of the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) will vote on industrial action next month, after rejecting the offer as “insulting”.

Delegates at the union’s conference in Wellington said secondary teachers were determined to win a better pay rise and were ready to strike if they had to.

Secondary teachers striking during the fourth term may clash with students preparing for and sitting end of year exams.

They said the government’s offer, which would have increased most teachers’ pay by three percent a year for three years, was inadequate.

The union’s decision raises the possibility of a double-whammy of strike action with the primary teachers union, the Educational Institute.

Its members have already rejected a similar pay offer and will vote soon on whether to hold a week of rolling one-day strikes.

That may test the patience and support of parents.