Secondary school teachers to stop teaching different year levels each week as industrial action continues

Secondary school teachers will stop teaching different year levels of students on certain days as their industrial action continues. 

The new school term begins on Monday and secondary teachers are set to take more industrial action in support of their collective agreement negotiations.

NZ Post Primary Teachers' Association Te Wehengarua (PPTA) said they would "much prefer" to be beginning the term in a settled environment, but after 11 months of negotiations they haven't been able to make satisfactory progress on some major issues. 

"There is a worsening shortage of secondary teachers, and we need salary rates and conditions that will keep teachers in the classroom, attract graduates to choose secondary teaching as a career, and encourage former teachers to return to the job they love," Kieran Gainsford, a member of PPTA Te Wehengarua negotiating team, said. 

"Every day the collective agreement remains unsettled, the further our pay and conditions slip backward and the more difficult it is to encourage people to stay in teaching or to come teaching. 

"It is fantastic and incredibly important work, but it needs to be valued appropriately. Our rangatahi need specialist teachers for every subject and they need kaiako who can bring their best selves to the job through manageable workloads."

PPTA has announced from Monday, members in secondary and area schools around the country will continue to refuse to give up their scheduled planning and marking time to relieve absent teachers or positions that are vacant. 

They will also not attend meetings outside regular school hours.

The following week, teachers will not to teach different year levels of students on certain days, known as rostering home.

PPTA told Newshub the week beginning May 1, year 11 will be rostered home on Thursday.

The following week (the week beginning May 8) Year 12 will be rostered home on Tuesday and Year 13s on Thursday.

The week beginning May 15 will see Year 9 rostered home on Tuesday and Year 10s on Wednesday.

In the third week of term (the week beginning May 8), PPTA members plan to strike on different days in different regions, starting down south and finishing up north.

It comes after PPTA and the Ministry of Education were directed into facilitation, which involves a continuation of negotiations but facilitated by a member of the Employment Relations Authority.

"The Authority, in its decision to direct us to facilitated bargaining, acknowledged that potential constraint of the Public Sector Pay Adjustment on any pay offer from the Ministry appeared to be a key feature of why agreement on remuneration had not been possible so far," Gainsford said. 

"We're hopeful that having an independent facilitator will enable us to break through this impasse and avert further industrial action."

Secondary school teachers have been taking industrial action throughout this year. 

At the end of last month, about 20,000 members of the PPTA took to the streets after they "voted overwhelmingly" to hold a one-day strike. 

Just 13 days before that, strikes were also held for secondary, kindergarten and primary school teachers. 

The strike at the beginning of March sparked criticism as it was held during the middle of school day, affecting thousands of kids and parents. 

AM Co-host Melissa Chan-Green said in March while she thinks it's important New Zealand attracts good quality teachers and for many their pay is "ridiculous", she said the protest should be happening outside of school time.

"But here's the thing, students when they are going to protest got absolutely slammed when they did it in school time, the climate change marches. So what they did is change it so they are actually leaving school and going and protesting and they still made their point, thousands turned out," she told AM last month. 

"What kind of message are teachers sending if they are then going and protesting in school time?

"If what we are trying to do is improve kids' education can we do it in a way that's less disruptive?"

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