Source: Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA)
Western Bay of Plenty regional chair, Rebecca Holmes, reports on her meetings with local MPs.
I was invited last week to meet with Simon Bridges, in his role as Tauranga MP for the National Party, to talk about the Teaching Council and education policy. He is personally very keen to see the changes made to the Teaching Council that the PPTA are lobbying for – especially our plan to reduce or eliminate the council’s role in PLD by having references to professional leadership removed from the appropriate legislation. He agreed that this seems to be superfluous to the functions of the council.
Coming from a family of teachers, Simon is in support of teachers. He expressed that he felt there was a need for the status of teaching to be lifted. He spoke of concerns with ongoing teacher retention and morale. I highlighted that morale would be lifted if we get a change in the legislation around the Teaching Council, and have union representation on the council. Simon said he would take our plan to Nicola Wallis and the National team. It was acknowledged that National’s promise to pay for teacher registration was great, but it will not address all of the issues, and they need to go further.
The following week I met with local Labour MP Jan Tinetti to discuss the Teaching Council issues. Jan has a good understanding of the pressures on teachers, as she was a primary principal and NZEI executive member. Jan was less committal to our proposal, but acknowledged that there needs to be further changes made so that the council is more fit for purpose. She is worried about the workload facing teachers across all sectors. I pointed out that secondary teachers are going to have a massive workload jump with the NCEA changes coming in 2021. Jan wanted to know who the PPTA envisioned chairing the Teaching Council: a union rep/teacher or a ministerial appointment. Jan said she would take our concerns back to those involved in education within Labour.