Petition to stop Teaching Council doubling teacher registration fees attracts nearly 14,000 signatures

Nearly 14,000 people have signed a petition urging the Teaching Council to scrap doubling the cost of teachers' registration fees.

'Say no to doubling registration fees' published on Our Action Station had garnered 13,851 signatures as of Friday afternoon.

Its purpose is to persuade the Teaching Council to "put a stop to the rapid increase of teachers' registration fees".

The petition also questions where the extra money will be spent and how it will benefit individual teachers.

In a statement, the Teaching Council confirmed it will increase fees to $157 per year while previously, the fee for most teachers renewing their practising certificate was $220.80 every three years. It was, however, deferring the change until February.

But the petition says teachers "need to be valued".

"Lumping teachers with a huge increase in costs does not reflect the amazing work they do and is completely unfair and unjustified.

"This is outrageous."

The Teaching Council said in its statement the original changes were planned to take effect from July this year.

Concerns were listened to and the "extraordinary" COVID-19 situation was considered, the council said.

"While fees will increase, delaying the increase until February 2021 will give you more time to prepare."

The council said moving certification to a yearly payment means "you won't pay a large lump sum once every three years".

"This will allow the council to get on a secure financial footing and be the true independent body teachers deserve. 

"We also heard from many of you that the Teaching Council needs to better demonstrate its value as the professional body for teachers and we are committed to doing that.

"Today's [Thursday] Budget announced $16.5m of funding to help us move to annual certification and fees."

But teachers say it's not good enough.

"Many teachers spoke out in opposition of the fee increase yet have been ignored," the petition says.