Hot on the heels of the primary school teachers’ rejection of the Government’s third pay offer is a similar announcement from the secondary school teachers’ union the PPTA that they have also rejected the Government’s third offer.

The PPTA’s representatives on the negotiating team did not believe that the latest offer was good enough to take out to members.  The union reports that the offer was “very similar” to that made to primary teachers, which was also rejected by the NZEI Te Riu Roa yesterday.

“Secondary schools are facing teacher shortages that are far from business as usual,” says PPTA president Jack Boyle. “The offer from the government, while an improvement on the one we received in November, faces the fundamental problem of not addressing this unfortunate reality.”

“When we met with teachers over the last few weeks, the message they gave was incredibly consistent. We need to see a reset of teachers’ terms and conditions of work to address the teacher shortages and workload challenges. This offer doesn’t do that.”

PPTA and the Ministry of Education have agreed to undertake mediation through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, which will begin on 13 December 2018.

“It’s clear that the government has to come back with the resources to address the problems the sector is facing. Tweaks simply won’t do it,” said Boyle.

National’s spokesperson for Education Nikki Kaye has expressed concern that the Government’s failure to reach agreement with both the primary and secondary education sectors will lead to more strikes in 2019.

She says the Labour-led Government has “taken teachers for granted and favoured tertiary students by using huge amounts of education cash on a failed fees free policy”

Kaye has described Education Minister Chris Hipkins as “out of touch” with the situation many schools are facing.

“Both the primary and secondary education sectors have a raft of issues that they have raised in their claims which have not been addressed including recruitment and retention issues.”

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