Secondary teachers’ strike in the cards after latest offer from Government

The AM Show 07/11/2018

A secondary school teachers strike is looking increasingly likely after the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) revealed it is not satisfied with the latest Government offer.

The Government presented an offer to the PPTA on Tuesday night and members will be voting on it on Wednesday afternoon.

PPTA president Jack Boyle told The AM Show the union is frustrated with the offer, which he said hasn't changed much in the month since the last one was rejected.

"You go into a piece of work in good faith to try and reach a resolution and you basically have very little change in the month that you're given," he said.

"We designed these meetings to minimise any impact on learners, that's why they're during the exam period because those students won't be missing out with the teacher not there to go and consider an offer, and it looks like nothing's been done in that intervening month."

Primary and intermediate teachers went on strike in August.

Mr Boyle said that the offer will still be voted on, but he's pretty sure he knows what option the teachers will choose.

"Commencing today is that we're going to put that offer... to secondary teachers in New Zealand and they will be saying 'yes this is sufficient' or more likely 'this is nowhere near sufficient'," he said.

"We need to plan a response and I guess that response is about making what should be really straightforward... if you want the best people in front of our children then you cannot just hope that somehow you're going to put sticky plasters over the current shortages we've got."

Mr Boyle said the teacher shortage was really starting to bite and students could be missing out due to the lack of trained teachers.

But the Government isn't backing up claims it supports teachers with money.

"There are people right now going through secondary schools who may not have a trained maths teacher at any time in their learning," he said.

"What we know is that 3000 people clicking on a website is not the same as having them classroom ready in front of children for the start of next year.

"We're being told 'hey look this is a really important profession, we really support you guys, we want you to be a first choice career', and then 'but we can't pay you anywhere near what you've asked for'."

Watch the full interview with Jack Boyle above.

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