Source: Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA)
PPTA’s Waikato regional team make their views known at the Council of Trade Unions/government forum.
PPTA’s Waikato regional members talked politics with the decision-makers at the first 2019 Council of Trade Unions (CTU)/government forum in Hamilton last month.
A crowd of about 200 union members met with CTU leadership and prime minister Jacinda Ardern – who had a strong contingent of cabinet ministers in support including Chris Hipkins, Grant Robertson, David Clark, Nanaia Mahuta and Shane Jones – at the Claudelands Arena.
Talking one-on-one with ministers
Following opening speeches from CTU president Richard Wagstaff and the prime minister, union members split into sector groups so they could talk one-on-one with their relevant minister.
The PPTA Waikato regional team joined representatives from NZEI and TEU to talk with education minister Chris Hipkins. Three key themes emerged; the need to make teaching and other jobs in education sustainable career options, the need to urgently address the teacher supply crisis and whether the Ministry of Education and the government had the capacity to roll out the recommendations from the Tomorrow’s Schools’ review report.
Education and the economy
PPTA’s Waikato executive member Vinnie Monga was stanch in her questioning of minister Hipkins, calling on him to urgently address the unsustainable workload issues teachers face in schools.
In a second breakout room, focussing on the economy, finance minister Grant Robertson also touched on the education sector, noting there was only so much schools could do and posing the question – would we be better off investing in other aspects of a child’s life? Making sure they are fed properly and live in healthy homes, rather than simply asking schools to do more and more.
PPTA general secretary Michael Stevenson said it was a great to see PPTA’s regional members taking part in these discussions.
All in all it was a good event, but not particularly inspiring, he said.
“A government restricted by self-imposed budget responsibility can only say so much in front of workers still suffering from a decade of neglect.”