By Radio New Zealand
(New Zealand) The government has announced a new deal aimed at breaking the deadlock with teachers, which Education Minister Chris Hipkins says unions will recommend to their members.
Mr Hipkins said a key element of the revised deal was a unified base salary scale for all primary, secondary and area school teachers and will restore parity between primary and secondary school teachers.
“I’m now confident this will draw the matter to a close,” Mr Hipkins said.
Lynda Stewart, president of primary teachers’ union NZEI, said she was pleased with what was being proposed, but it had been a hard fight.
“For our membership, that [pay parity] was absolutely crucial that we saw that happen.”
Ms Stewart said she had faith in the membership to make the right decision on whether to ratify the deal.
“It didn’t give us everything we wanted, but it’s certainly an improvement on the previous offers,” Ms Stewart said.
The offer also includes a lump sum payment of $1500 for union members and a new top step salary rate of $90,000.
“I think it’s a good offer, it’s a good pay deal. It does give teachers a significant pay increase and it commits to us working together to address longer term issues that they’re dealing with,” Mr Hipkins said.
One of those longer term issues, particularly for secondary school teachers, is workload, but Mr Hipkins said the NCEA review will make some changes around secondary school teacher workload that will, in the long term, reduce workload.
“There’s a bit of a hump to get through with teacher workload, but ultimately I think that’s going to reduce their workload.”
Post Primary Teachers Association president Jack Boyle said it was great to see area schools included in the deal and that they had previously been at a disadvantage.
Mr Boyle was pleased to see a new top salary rate of $90,000, which he believed would keep experienced teachers in their jobs.
The new offer includes:
- A lump sum payment of $1500 for union members only. Pro rata for part-time, short term and day relief teachers.
- A new top step salary rate of $90,000.
- Salary rises around 3 percent on 1 July this year and each of the next two years with a new top step of $90,000 on 1 July 2021.
- Units moving to $5000, MMAs and SMAs to $2000 on 28 January 2020.
- Payment of the Priority Teacher Supply Allowance at $2500 for all eligible teachers.
- An increase to the Careers Advisor Allowance from $1500 to $2250.
- Enhanced Maori Immersion Teacher Allowance bringing it into line with the Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement.
- 1000 new Units from the start of 2020.
- A $5 million per year professional development fund for conferences and seminars, to be administered jointly by PPTA and the Ministry of Education.
- Changes to parental leave provisions so they are gender neutral.
- No pass-on of the new terms and conditions to non-members for 3 months.
Mr Hipkins had repeatedly stated in the past there was no more money to put on the table for striking primary and secondary teachers.