1 Oct 2014

Maori want inclusion on teacher council

7:32 pm on 1 October 2014

The national Maori body of the secondary teachers' union the PPTA is calling for specific Maori representation on the Teachers' Council which registers and disciplines staff.

There is intense opposition from the teacher unions to planned Government changes to the council which will remove teachers' right to elect some of its members and introduce a code of conduct.

The PPTA has asked its members to approve a programme of non-cooperation, should they go ahead.

The union's Te Huarahi representative, Ameriai Kiriwera, said it is also disappointing that the council does not include specific Maori membership.

Ms Kiriwera said Maori teachers come with a cultural and professional perspective and feel strongly that they should be represented.

Hundreds of teachers and principals opposed the reforms when they were considered by the Education and Science Select Committee earlier this year, but the committee recommended only minor alterations.

The PPTA hopes to convince the Government to back down - but if it doesn't, the union wants members' approval for a campaign. Possible measures include refusing to re-register as teachers, refusing to comply with the code of conduct and taking industrial action.

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