16 Mar 2011

Deal struck on teachers' pay: fantastic, says Tolley

8:02 pm on 16 March 2011

The secondary-school teachers' union and the Government have agreed on a possible settlement of their long-running pay dispute.

The union, the Post Primary Teachers Association, says its members will vote on the deal in the next two weeks.

Education Minister Anne Tolley says that, while the settlement is still subject to ratification by members, it's fantastic news for students, parents and schools.

Mrs Tolley says she hopes that recent events in Christchurch made the union realise that further industrial action would have been unlikely to get much support.

Union president Robin Duff says the Christchurch earthquake made attempts to reach a settlement more urgent but did not necessarily reduce the amount of money available.

The pay talks started last year but broke down several times and union members took industrial action.

On Wednesday afternoon, however, the PPTA announced it had reached a tentative settlement with the Ministry of Education.

The union will not reveal details, but it was trying to make a deal that could not be passed on to primary-school teachers.

That would keep costs down and give secondary teachers a better chance of winning a pay rise higher than the 2.75% increase over two years that primary teachers accepted last year.

Mr Duff says members will vote during the next two weeks.