I do hope that young teachers don’t fall for the PR spin put on the latest pay offer.

While I would like to think that the last few weeks the government and the PPTA have been negotiating a deal, it seems they were just working on a PR campaign to make everyone look like a winner.
Like all these things the devil is in the detail. And the detail of this pay proposal is that this is a pay offer for the balding, grey haired, khaki pant wearing teacher.

It gets a big tick for those…
in the PPTA union,
on top of the scale,
with a unit. They are the ones who get all the benefits.

Chris Hipkins has said there is a 18.5% pay increase to teachers. Yes, that is true if you are on the top of the scale. However, according to my reading of the new agreement, if you are a 3rd year secondary teacher, with no units, you will get 3% each year, over the next three years. The same offer that was on the table 3 weeks ago – which was pushed back by PPTA members.

The key aspects of the new deal, with my opinions, are below;

  • A lump sum payment of $1500 for union members only.
    This should not be allowed! How would people feel if National offered a $1500 lump sum for those not in the union? Union participation is a choice for teachers. It should not be bargained with bribes.
  • A new top step salary rate of $90,000 from July 2021.
    Good idea. Who wouldn’t complain?
  • Salary rises around 3 percent on 1 July this year and each of the next two years.
    This is exactly the same offer as before. The PPTA should have pushed for 3.5% and inline with expected wage increases over the next few years. This would help those towards the bottom of the scale. It also would have set a precedent for the future.
  • Units moving to $5000, MMAs and SMAs to $2000 on 28 January 2020.
    Great news – if you have a unit!
  • 1000 new Units from the start of 2020.
    While it sounds good, it probably means about 1 extra unit per school.
  • The deal also removes performance appraisal. This is really poor. In my opinion any profession that doesn’t have some sort of appraisal system it letting their workforce and their customers down. In our case – the students. We need a robust, relevant, coordinated, professional appraisal system. Spend money on setting that up. Teachers look like they want all the money but don’t want to be accountable!

Finally, as expected there was nothing in the new deal to address teacher workload. This was a major concern by thousands of teachers and it has not been addressed.
Saying that the new NCEA system will reduce workload will be music to a primary school teacher ears!!! To secondary teachers, all you have to do is ask primary teachers if getting rid of National Standards has reduced their workload.

So it will be interesting to see the way PPTA members vote. If they accept the deal then effectively they are say is that they were after money all along. All the mantra about it ‘not being about the money’ will have just been rhetoric.
If they don’t accept the offer then it s a clear message to the PPTA Executive that more needs to be done around teacher workload and well being.