By: Lucy Bennett

Secondary teachers will today announce whether they will accept the Government’s latest pay offer or take further strike action.

The Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) has been holding meetings with members around the country since November 7 to discuss the offer and its next steps.

It will announce the results of the vote at 5pm at Parliament.

The PPTA immediately rejected the Government’s latest offer earlier this month, calling it “half-hearted” and almost identical to the previous offer.

It has been recommending to members that they reject the offer at the stopwork meetings.

The Education Ministry has offered 3 per cent a year for three years, or 9.3 per cent by November 2020. It is a deal that has already been accepted by police officers and nurses but has been rejected by midwives who kicked off two weeks of industrial action yesterday.

The proposed 9.3 per cent rise would lift beginner secondary teachers’ base salaries from $51,200 to $55,137 and base salaries for those at the top of the scale from $78,000 to $85,233.

The PPTA is also seeking a housing allowance of up to $100 a week for teachers renting homes in high-rent areas such as Auckland, Tauranga and Queenstown, where teacher shortages are most critical.

Last week the PPTA and its primary school counterpart the NZ Educational Institute (NZEI) agreed to join forces in their campaign for better pay and conditions for teachers if their wishes were not met.

Primary teachers are also in the midst of ongoing negotiations, having also rejected a similar offer.

Up to 30,000 NZEI members took part in strikes across the country last week.

They are now in the process of considering the latest offer from the Government, the outcome of which will not be known for a number of weeks.

Both unions, which represent up to 48,000 principals and teachers nationwide, said that should the offer be rejected and no satisfactory offers were made before term one next year, the unions would take joint action.

Key issues for the unions are recruitment and retention of teachers, workload and the pay offer itself.

Source: NZ Herald

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