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Source: Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA)

“I’m delighted that PPTA Te Wehengarua members have shown such strong support for our new collective agreement,” says Chris Abercrombie, PPTA Te Wehengarua acting president.

“Members’ collective, determined and sustained action this year ensured that we received a much improved offer via  arbitration than what we were offered in negotiations.

“There are still significant issues around secondary teacher recruitment in particular that need to be addressed, but today is for celebrating. I feel very proud and privileged to lead such a strong and committed union. Members are passionate about secondary education and the need for it to be valued appropriately. This settlement is a significant step in the right direction.

“Secondary teachers can now get on with the vital business of teaching and learning in a settled environment – something they have been wanting to do for a long time.”

Chris Abercrombie said the arbitration process had highlighted the need to find better and more productive ways of addressing teachers’ concerns and setting pay and conditions. “A different approach is required to setting salaries rather than the current ‘boom and bust’ process which produces periods with pay rates falling relative to other groups and a build up of pay and supply pressures. These issues then become too expensive to address effectively in a single negotiation round.

“We were very pleased to see the arbitration panel’s sensible suggestions for a different approach to setting teacher pay rates and we are really looking forward to exploring these. Today, however, it’s time to celebrate.”

The only school sector collective agreement that still needs to be settled is the area school teachers’. PPTA is working towards having a settlement for the Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement by next week. More details will be available soon.