31 May 2023

Secondary teachers' union says pay offer inadequate, will resume strike action

9:53 am on 31 May 2023
University or secondary school students study in a classroom.

The PPTA said it would resume industrial action . Photo: 123RF

The secondary teachers' union has told its members the latest pay offers from the Ministry of Education are inadequate.

The ministry made revised offers to primary, area and secondary school teachers on Tuesday which the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) and the Educational Insitute shared with their members overnight.

The offers included identical pay deals - a lump sum payment of $4500 and three pay rises totalling between 11 percent and more than 16 percent by the end of next year.

Unlike the previous three-year offers, the new offers had a two-year term and provided the first pay rises in June and July rather than backdating them to December 2022.

The unions told their members the changes had allowed the ministry to "front-load" the offer to provide bigger pay rises and lump-sum payments at the start of the agreement.

The Educational Institute said the lump sum payment was about $2500 more than most teachers would have got from backdating the first pay rise to December last year. Non-union members would get $3000.

The union told its members it would not make any recommendations about how to vote, but the the PPTA told its members they should reject the offers.

"While there have been some improvements in these offers, in particular equity of non-contact for part-time teachers (from start of 2025) and a salary step increase for relievers (from the start of 2024), the pay rate on offer for the top step has not shifted," the PPTA told its members.

"These offers are not good enough to justify an ongoing pause on industrial action, so this will resume from 12.00am Wednesday 31 May. This action includes the relief ban, refusal to attend meetings outside regular school hours and rostering home."

The offers included a a pay rise of $4000 or six percent, whichever was higher, in June or July, a further three percent increase in July next year and between 1.8 and 6.5 percent in December next year.

The unions said the end result would put the top-of-the-scale pay rate at $100,000 by the end of 2024 - the same rate as previous offers.

The new offers would shift the starting rate for new teachers to at least $60,735 for primary teachers and $63,187 for secondary teachers.

They included a $710 payment for union members only to cover the cost of Teaching Council fees.

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