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"Something's got to give" — that is the feeling among Otago secondary school teachers as the PPTA prepares for strikes next year, the principal of Kavanagh College says.
The PPTA voted yesterday to strike for better pay and working conditions, following primary teachers, who began striking this year. Kavanagh College principal and immediate past-president of the Otago Secondary Principals’ Association Tracy O’Brien said it was "no surprise that both the primary and secondary school [staff] are looking at pushing hard for a better reward". From the 1980s and 1990s, the teaching profession had "not kept up" when it came to pay. The Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) had asked for a single increase of 15%, and in response the Government offered its members a 3% pay increase for three consecutive years.
"More is being asked of [teachers] than ever before," Mr O’Brien said.
It was not surprising they were looking at industrial action.
"Something’s got to give," he said.
Planning and regulation in the profession had become more and more important. RNZ reported national PPTA president Jack Boyle saying the Government’s offer was a "moral failure" and he recommended members vote against it.
"We see that it was last-minute, half-hearted and disrespectful," Mr Boyle said.
"Much of what was in the offer — many of the items — lacked enough detail to put it in front of you for genuine consideration."
The New Zealand Herald reported earlier this year beginner teachers’ base salaries were currently $51,200 and the proposed 9.3% pay rise would increase them to $55,137. Base salaries for those at the top of the scale ranged from $78,000 to $85,233.