Angry teachers to vote on resuming talks

Author
Simon Collins,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 15 May 2019, 2:42PM
Teachers plan another strike on May 29 after striking last August and again, above, in November. (Photo / George Novak)
Teachers plan another strike on May 29 after striking last August and again, above, in November. (Photo / George Novak)

Primary teachers will vote this week on whether to resume talks on their pay dispute - but they're angry that the Ministry of Education has applied for facilitated talks without waiting for them.

The primary teachers' union, NZ Educational Institute (NZEI), said ministry head Iona Holsted asked it to apply jointly with the ministry for facilitated talks at the Employment Relations Authority.

"However NZEI says its members need to be consulted on such a decision and therefore the union won't be in a position to respond to the ministry's request until members have had their say this week," NZEI secretary Paul Goulter said.

"The Secretary [Holsted] has since advised NZEI that the ministry will not wait for member consultation to be completed and will instead file a memorandum with the ERA today (Wednesday)."

Goulter said he was disappointed with the move and felt members "have a right to help make such important decisions".

"Members have made every decision in this campaign; it's a fundamental principle of how we operate as a union," he said.

"The Secretary of Education is riding roughshod over that by going directly to the Employment Relations Authority before members have had their say.

"If there's an improved offer she wants to urgently make , I suggest she just pick up the phone."

The teachers and their secondary colleagues in the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) said this week that they would hold a joint one-day strike on May 29 in support of claims for higher pay, more non-contact time and smaller classes.

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