@Melulater on Teachers’ Strike

Written By: - Date published: 9:10 am, May 13th, 2019 - 98 comments
Categories: child welfare, education, grant robertson, labour, nz first, Politics, schools, winston peters - Tags:

Reprinted from How Melulater sees it.  Melanie is a Primary School teacher who is half way through her Masters of Education in Global Education Policy.  She is a member of the Labour Party and took a year off to help get them elected. 

I’m going to start out by saying I really like Chris Hipkins.  He knows education and he’s grown up at the knee of a great education academic.  He’s passionate about our education system and I know he wants what is best.  I know he advocates for us.  But I know he is one of many in a Cabinet competing for money.

I also know that my colleagues are over worked, many are struggling financially, many feel their students are getting the raw end of the stick and many are wanting to bail.  And if I do not see any real change by the end of 2020, I may bail too.  I can’t sustain my workload forever.  Already my health has suffered in the last year.

I also know this government has a healthy surplus.  Finance Minister Grant Robertson talks about saving the money for a rainy day.  Well Grant, the rainy day for teachers is bloody well here.

Minister Chris Hipkins claims there is no more money for teacher Collective Agreement negotiations.  His MOE negotiation team keep recutting the same pie over and over again, but it will not solve the problems the teacher population currently face.

Last year our NZEI negotiators went into the Collective Agreement negotiations for primary teachers with four issues on top for teachers across New Zealand:

  • a pay jolt – we asked for a 16% pay rise over a two year contract
  • a plan for recruitment and retention – the numbers entering teacher training have dropped dramatically in recent years and the number of experienced teachers leaving the profession have created a teacher supply crisis as schools struggle to staff themselves and put teachers in front of classrooms full-time, let alone when a staff member is sick.
  • a reduction of workload – while National Standards have gone, the assessment are still there.  ERO and the MOE still demands a lot of assessment information.  There are a few principals who need some direction about teacher inquiry too.  But a lot of stuff has been piled onto teachers via the Teacher’s Council which became the Education Council and is now known as the Teaching Council and it has blown completely out of control as planning to justify the reading of a story is expected by some principals under the guise of needing it to sign off teacher appraisals and registration requirements.  Then there are the excessive meetings and the paper work for getting extra assistance for students.
  • help for students with special learning needs, so we asked for a SENCO in every school – these students often have learning needs over and above what the average classroom teacher can manage without support.  But where does this support come from currently?  How much education are these children missing out on because there is a lack of funding and expertise to access what these children should be getting?

These issues were the claim presented to the MOE.  It was a bit different than previously.  For the last three negotiations figures and statements were presented.  We had to fight to keep existing conditions  and earned increases that equaled or were just below the rate of inflation.  We needed to change how we negotiated.  But the MOE could not get their head around it.

The negotiators for NZEI told the stories of thousands of teachers and why these were the issues they wanted addressed.  I was told by a negotiator that they were rather disinterested in the stories and even disputed the truth of the stories.

These issues were the issues we as a membership voted as our claim in March 2018.  These issues have not changed.  So to hear Minister Hipkins claim a number of times that the claim has changed and that teachers don’t agree on the claim is rather annoying.

Like schools across the country have different issues that are on top for them, teachers across NZ also have issues on top for them.  I put this to Minister Hipkins in a tweet thread earlier this week.

Our negotiators put a range of options on the table to address the issues above.  The NZEI team expected that the MOE team would pick out some options they were willing to negotiate on.  But they did not.  They ignored all the suggestions put forward by the MOE team.  Our NZEI team was told teachers could not have their cake and eat it too.

Now they have bunched those options together and claimed that we want all of the options and we won’t budge and it will cost $4 billion over four years to implement all of these options.  Remember, we put these as a range of options to be negotiated on as to which could be implemented.  We did not put these on the table as a combined must do package.

And a couple of days later I felt it important to emphasise this again.

Teachers currently feel that Minister Hipkins is no better than Hekia Parata as they do not feel he is listening to them.  I’m sure Chris is listening and feeling like he is caught between a rock and a hard place – I hear the rock is Winston Peters and the hard place is Grant Robertson.

In the mean time I hear the stories of teachers struggling and those who have left the profession:

 

This is just a snapshot of what I am currently hearing and what I have been hearing for the last four or five years, in person and via social media.

So why have we been refusing the MOE offer?

  • the pay offer does not stack up.
  • while the government last week announced a $94 million package to attract people into initial teacher education, there is NOTHING offered to retain current teachers.
  • there is an offer for an extra 2.5 hours of classroom release time per term – that’s 150 minutes divided by 10 weeks of term equally 15 minutes a week.  I guess it gives me time to go to the toilet once a week and maybe make a coffee.
  • while they government in November 2018 announced an ambitious plan for 600 inclusive education co-ordinators…. there’s still a lot of questions and the feeling this is not enough and will not impact on classroom teachers very much.

In the meantime the Minister of Education has been talking up the MOE offer and telling all and sundry there is no more money.  Mr Hipkins has made much of the idea that teachers will be increasing their wage on average by $10,000 if we accept the MOE offer.  This is disingenuous, or just not accurate.  And so this tweet stream below illustrates that.

For a better look at that extra step, here is the picture Chris Crumble kindly supplied me.

I’m not holding my breath on this new step however.  I feel this may disappear in the final wash.

The ethos of this post is just to say, don’t believe everything that you are hearing come from the Minister.  He is a good Minister.  But his hands are tied by Cabinet and he’s been given his lines.  As a profession, if we want to uplift the status of our profession, we need to target the big players in Cabinet alongside Mr Hipkins. 

We need to focus on the Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters.  Race Courses have done well under Mr Peters, but he needs to listen to Tracey Martin more – and send Tracey letters too, after all, she is the Associate Minister of Education.  Grant Robertson’s mum is a teacher, so Grant should know better – let’s keep the pressure on him.  Dr David Clark is not only the Minister of Health, he is also an Associate Finance Minister – so let’s apply pressure there too.  Phil Twyford may be Minister of Housing and Transport, but he has a lot of sway in that Cabinet – hit him with the letters too.

Finally, the 29th of May with our mega strike with the secondary teachers offers us new leverage.  Let’s not let the momentum fail after that and let’s keep the pressure on this government because we teachers are worth more.

98 comments on “@Melulater on Teachers’ Strike”

  1. The Chairman 1

    Now they have bunched those options together and claimed that we want all of the options and we won’t budge and it will cost $4 billion over four years to implement all of these options. 

    This is a tactic used to weaken public support – i.e teachers are being greedy.

    Minister Chris Hipkins claims there is no more money for teacher Collective Agreement negotiations. His MOE negotiation team keep recutting the same pie over and over again, but it will not solve the problems the teacher population currently face.

    This is a common tactic used to weaken union members resolve. It was used on nurses of late, unfortunately it worked and they caved. Hold strong. 

    • Gosman 1.1

      Why would Chris Hipkins be actively woring against the Teacher Unions given his strong statements in support of them prior to the 2017 election?

      • Sacha 1.1.1

        The public servants who negotiate do not necessarily serve the Minister that well.

        • Gosman 1.1.1.1

          Then he should make this clear. He should come out and direct his Ministry to work positively with the Teacher Unions and anyone who refuses to tow his line should be asked for their resignation. This is what being in government is all about.

          • Sacha 1.1.1.1.1

            The officials will claim that they are already negotiating in good faith. Their employer the SSC will resist any move to sack them. No, Minister.

            • Gosman 1.1.1.1.1.1

              There are plenty of ways that Chris Hipkins could apply pressure on his Ministry to be more accomodating in the negotiations with the Teacher Unions. Your take on this being all related to resistance in the Ministry is also at odds with the comments in the OP where it is implied that his hands are tied not by Ministry officials but by Winston Peters and Grant Roberston. 

              • Sacha

                Hipkins not being able to get more funding inside cabinet is not mutually exclusive with being unable to influence the officials who are negotiating. The public service is not the same as the private sector.

                It is a long way from ‘cannot ensure a result’ to “actively working against” as you claimed.

                • Gosman

                  The trouble for you is that what you state just comes across as making excuses for Hipkins poor efforts around this. 'It's not his fault – it was the last government, the current ministry people, fellow Cabinet colleagues, etc etc.'. At which point do you think Hipkins should take ownership of what is his Ministerial area of responsibility?

                  • Sacha

                    Oh he's accountable; just making clear for what. Not being able to secure change is not the same as actively working against it. Choose your words better.

                  • marty mars

                    The trouble for you is that your argument was completely discredited and shown to be wrong… now you decide to start another wee line of attack – so predictable you righties – bit embarrassing really that you are just 'play by the numbers' dudes.

          • Wayne 1.1.1.1.2

            Gosman,

            As you well know it is the government, that is Ministers, who set the overall parameters of the negotiation, in particular the amount of money that is available. That will have been carefully considered by both Hipkins and Robertson.

            So it is not the officials. Their role is the minutiae of the negotiations, the parameters are set by Ministers. 

            So no escape for Hipkins. He owns this.

            • Sacha 1.1.1.1.2.1

              The officials do not set the budget. They do however control the negotiations – as the original post describes:

              “Our negotiators put a range of options on the table to address the issues above. The NZEI team expected that the MOE team would pick out some options they were willing to negotiate on. But they did not. They ignored all the suggestions put forward by the MOE team.”

              – unless you are claiming that Ministers dictate the negotiating tactics as well?

              • Gosman

                They set the tone for them.

              • Lucy

                I agree Sacha have seen Government policy completely destroyed by policy people within departments working against Ministers. Tend to happen under Labour governments, but to be fair the 1984 government started the rot by deconstructing the public service. Now policy analysts flick between public and private organisations without understanding the public service ethos.

      • The Chairman 1.1.2

        Why would Chris Hipkins be actively woring against the Teacher Unions given his strong statements in support of them prior to the 2017 election?

        Clearly, he's been told there is no more money. And the last thing this Government wants (PR wise) is teachers on the streets and schools shutting down, thus he's got to do his best to shut their protest down and have the matter settled.

        The question we should all be asking is why won't this Government (that says it wants fix the problem) do more for teachers to ensure it does?  

      • Psycho Milt 1.1.3

        Why would Chris Hipkins be actively woring against the Teacher Unions given his strong statements in support of them prior to the 2017 election?

        It tells you in the post why that is:  cabinet collective responsibility.  Hipkins' personal opinion of the situation doesn't count for much.

         

    • Anne 1.2

      Hello Mr Chairman,

      I note that – as always – you fail to mention the cause of the teachers plight and concentrate on sheeting the blame home to the government who is having to pick up the pieces and slowly put them back together again. We're talking about the nine years of confrontational, bully boy/girl strategies and deliberate attempts to undermine social oriented entities and unions by the Nat led government – all of which have culminated in the current plight of the teachers and other important state services.

      And about that fiscal surplus – any government who doesn't withhold a sizable portion of the surplus for unforeseen major events like earthquakes, floods and other pestilences brought to us courtesy of nature and extreme climatalogical events is irresponsible and shouldn't hold the reins of power.

      • Gosman 1.2.1

        Why didn't the Teacher Union's stand up to the last National lead government?

        • Sacha 1.2.1.1

          Teacher reps have been posting recently that they did, in negotiations – just to keep conditions from being reduced. Guess they looked at where that govt was coming from and decided it was a losing tactic to strike.

          • Gosman 1.2.1.1.1

            What you are stating is that the Teacher Unions under the last government were cowed. Wow. So much for Trade Union's defending workers rights when times get tough. Looks like they only really work (at least in education) when they have a more sympathetic employer.

        • The Chairman 1.2.1.2

          Why didn't the Teacher Union's stand up to the last National lead government?

          It takes time for frustrations to build, thus for resolve to strengthen enough for members to want to keep up the fight.

        • mpledger 1.2.1.3

          The teachers did.  They were working to get rid of National Standards which are now gone.  Now they are back to working to get a fair deal on their pay and working conditions.

      • The Chairman 1.2.2

        Hi, Anne.

        Yes, in respect with how this all came about, you're correct. This didn't happen overnight. This is the result of years of frustration. However, while it sets the past context, it can't be used as an excuse for this Government's response. That's a position they took, thus they themselves must own. 

        Moreover, it could have been averted if this Government wasn't playing hardball.

        The private sector is concerned with public sector pay increases setting an example, thus increasing private sector wage demand.   

        Re the surplus. I wouldn't suggest they use it all, but they do have fiscal scope to offer more.

        Moreover, they do have the ability to widen, thus increase their tax revenue, giving them additional scope. For example, taxing tourists to enter NZ. 

      • Nic the NZer 1.2.3

        "And about that fiscal surplus – any government who doesn't withhold a sizable portion of the surplus for unforeseen major events like earthquakes, floods and other pestilences brought to us courtesy of nature and extreme climatalogical events is irresponsible and shouldn't hold the reins of power."

        While this is a common miss-understanding it is still a miss-understanding. Because the government of NZ operates the central bank of NZ (which is the only institution allowed to issue NZ currency) the government itself does not have a budget constraint in NZ$. Running a surplus does not have any impact on the governments financial viability what-so-ever. We should instead be examining the outcomes of the governments spending on the economy, in this particular example it looks pretty stingy in its attitude to teachers and their profession.

        Yes, it is true that this is such a wide spread miss-understanding that political attitudes towards a government running a surplus are different to political attitudes towards a government running a deficit. However its still a fact that the voucher issuer won't run out of vouchers and the government runs the institution which issues and collects all the vouchers.

      • new view 1.2.4

        Let it go Anne. Stop making excuses. Its your Government which is the problem.This Government. You know the one that made all those promises. Don't promise impressive lists of social improvements to get elected and then blame the last Government because you promised too much. 

  2. Gosman 2

    Why would Winston Peters be causing problems? Tracey Martin is extremely pro-Teacher Unions.

  3. vto 3

    In the recent past MPs were paid the same as Teachers.

    Push that in Chris Hipkins face. Put some billboards up showing the greedy rise in MP's pay packets over recent decades, while the workers in this land have STAGNATED…

    Teachers and MPs were once paid the same – it needs to go back this

    • Gosman 3.1

      You are kind of comparing Apples and Oranges. MP's received a number of non-monetary perks in the past (e.g. free air travel for them and some members of their  family) that were not included. Also if you are comparing the two (which may well be valid) you need to ensure you comapr it to theie total workload over the period they get paid. If MP's are working longer and more unsociable hours then they have a case for higher pay. 

      • vto 3.1.1

        I think both the point you make there apply equally to teachers – extra perks in the past, plus greater workload.

         

        • Gosman 3.1.1.1

          What perks did Teachers get in the past that they no longer receive?

          • Grant 3.1.1.1.1

            One example off the top of my head would be the clawback of holiday time which used to be their own but now makes them subject to callback for PD or whatever the school deems necessary.

    • Wayne 3.2

      I suspect the comparison with MP's was with school principals. Depending on the size of the school, they are probably still quite close.

      When I became an MP in 1996, my stated MP salary was the same as my salary as an Associate Professor at Auckland University. But the perks made it much greater. These days the perks have all been rolled into the actual salary.

      • In Vino 3.2.1

        Sorry, Wayne – that is wrong. But so is the time-scale.  I started secondary school teaching in 1970. Sir Leslie Munroe visited my school during a pay-round dispute, and tried to tell us that it was such an honour to be a Public Servant like himself that we should not be going hard-out for money.

        Back then it was true that the top of a secondary teacher's pay-scale (not Principals' or anything like that) was the equivalent of a Parliamentary backbencher's salary. Neither were all that high.

        That held true until about 1982.  By the mid 1990s teachers were way behind (arbitration removed and claw-back during negotiations in which unions were disadvantaged) while the sleazy MPs protested that they could do nothing about their huge increases because it wasn't their fault – the nasty, totally independent Higher Salaries Commission had forced their pay increases upon them, and it would be unethical to refuse…

        I am not sure I trust you Wayne – I think you are quite old enough to know about that.  But since you started in 1996, maybe you are not aware of the socially destructive effects of what happened in the 1980s?

        • vto 3.2.1.1

          Well put..

          But this should be highlighted to Hipkins and the public

          • In Vino 3.2.1.1.1

            How? I tried such a letter to the Editor, but it got totally edited. The media don't publicise such stuff. Hipkins is a politician and already knows.

  4. Dot 4

    "If we want to uplift the status of our profession"  :

    show some diversity and more intelligence.

    As a retired teacher, I feel sad as I always found the systems in many schools unhelpful and tiring, too much writing and pandering to inspectors. Certainly not things that more money solves.

     

     

    pandering to inspectors

    • The Chairman 4.1

      More money is for solving the problem of retaining current experienced teachers and encouraging new ones.

  5. greywarshark 5

    My feeling is that the promise of special needs children being integrated into mainstream classes, and schools and classes specially tailored for disabled children being wiped, was bound to lead to the situation we have now.  

    Teachers have more complex classes as a result and are still expected to perform highly, receiving impossible target pressures from business-oriented managers supposed to be Principals and Boards of Trustees with Peter Principle syndrome.   

    Let's have youngsters with special needs grouped somehow with specially trained teachers and lots of support with well-funded teacher aides.   And times that they regularly attend with regular school classes where they can manage the subject and even excel at it.   But not push them into regular schools and tell them that they have been done a favour. Or being offered a ‘wrap-around’ aiding system that is always open to excisions from some contracted agency; they have to fulfil targets and keep to set budgets, the individual may have to prove that they are disabled with medical certificates that cost the parent. It is all bloody heartless and distrustful, based on the idea that the citizen group contains a lot of deceitful layabouts milking the system. The lack of trust is based on a few anecdotes and the managers own deceitful, suspicious minds which they project onto the world at large.

    The country has had a heartless economic-only regime for decades.   The people have been taught they have to fight their way to the top and those who don't get there are losers.  Citizens are encouraged to find fault and despise and dob in the lesser beings to the welfare department.  

    There is no role modelling from the state to parents or children of a caring society.   Then the state is hypocritically surprised at the amount of bullying as people and their children act on the state's modelling of this despicable behaviour.   This shows the wilful lack of integrity in the education system from those in positions of power who set the system up and keep it churning out its product.

    • Sacha 5.1

      "Let's have youngsters with special needs grouped somehow with specially trained teachers and lots of support with well-funded teacher aides."

      .. in the ghettooo ..

      • One Two 5.1.1

        Is that your actual interpretation of gws comment?

      • Rosemary McDonald 5.1.2

        .. in the ghettooo ..

        I was speaking with the mother of one of the first NZ children with a significant disability to be mainstreamed and who went on to excel academically, about this very issue.

        Now this was years ago, and the lad's achievements got a mention in Parliament and made the front page of the local rag…held aloft it was as 'proof' that mainstreaming 'works' for all disabled kids.

        Now you and I both know that this is a fallacy…some kids, even most kids, will thrive and so will their classmates under the mainstreaming model.  For others, even with one on one support, simply cannot be shoehorned into a mainstream classroom environment, and trying to do so leads to frustration, pain and ultimately resentment from the parents of the other kids that this one child is commanding all of the teacher aide and the teacher's attention…pretty much all of the time.  And some of the most difficult examples are in the special ed units….which often struggle to cope with some of these children. 

        Just finding and paying more warm bodies to 'manage' this small but very significant group of children with learning and behavioral difficulties will not be enough.  There needs to be higher degree level training for teachers and enough incentive to retain the best in the Special Ed sector.

        • greywarshark 5.1.2.1

          Salisbury College here in Nelson fought valiantly to stay open.   The youngsters there are a mixed group and for some years were being prevented from attending by assiduous efforts to strangle it by central authorities.   The only girls-only school in NZ; don't know if they have roaring successes to wave triumphantly in the air.   But have helped to improve life for numerous youngsters.

          There need to be options for all disabled, differently-abled children, on one hand not to be held back with lesser levels and not able to realise their potential, but receiving the services they need and can handle.   And on the other hand being thrust into a dynamic and perhaps hostile school environment than doesn't give them the confidence and happiness to work to their own potential.

          Not giving huge promises to parents who want their children to achieve beyond their capacity at times would be fairer by government.   If gummint can help and advise parents and give good education to help with self-sustainability, and a skill, and enjoyment of art and creativity, and as much mobility as possible, and a good value system with confidence and resilience to cope with those times they are overlooked, and also those who are just mean.   All that stuff they need to be helped with.  

          It is beyond the purview of the ordinary school to succeed with every disabled child to this level, especially when so many in some areas have no physical or mental disablement and yet because of stressed parents who have resorted to addictions to lessen their own sense of failure, the kids need similar teaching before they can start learning.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Education in the news this morning.     Improved system for teachers and cutting cost for parents?:

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/389070/ncea-overhaul-fees-scrapped-literacy-and-numeracy-benchmarks-brought-in  

    The changes, to be phased in over four years starting from next year, are part of a major overhaul of the qualification.   The government says there are too many barriers to NCEA, so it is axing the qualification's $76.70-a-year fee, and $30 fee for each Scholarship exam subject.

    Level one of the NCEA will stay, and the number of credits required to get each level will drop from 80 to 60.

    Bullying:     https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/389056/bullying-intolerably-high-and-beyond-schools-direct-control-ero 

    and   8 May   https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/388778/protest-planned-after-student-assault-video-at-southland-school-circulated

    14 Sep 2018   https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/366428/we-can-t-even-break-up-a-fight-teachers-frustrated-with-restraint-guidelines
     

  7. Herodotus 7

    Perhaps our minister is tucking funds away to pay for to implement "Tomorrow Schools" review recommendations.
    As a point how can we have the budget being announced later this month – and the committee will not have reported back on their estimated costs.

    And I note: "Hon CHRIS HIPKINS: One of the reasons that no further proposals will be going to Cabinet in May is that the task force is not going to be reporting back until the end of June. We have extended the time frame for them to do so. I've been very clear that any further consideration by the Government of the task force's final recommendations will be after more detailed costing work and consideration of the pros and cons of any of their recommendations has been completed

    23 When I report back to the Committee in May 2019, the report-back will also include: 23.1 the relative costs and benefits of the proposals that the Minister intends to progress or consult further on, and 23.2 the estimated fiscal costs and regulatory impacts of those proposals

    https://conversation.education.govt.nz/assets/TSR/SWC-Cabinet-paper-Tomorrows-Schools-Review-Report-RELEASE-VERSION-061218.pdf

    https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/combined/HansD_20190430_20190430

     

  8. Im right 8

    "They'll be no national strikes under my watch".…..

    Don't shoot the messenger, just reminding you of pre election 'promises', sorry, statements!….more later!

    [lprent: Link to it or lose access. You have a day to either do that or apologise for being an idiot. Adding you to moderation and preparing for a long ban. You have been warned before. ]

    • Gosman 8.1

      Perhaps someone should compile a list of broken promises….

      • Im right 8.1.1

        Labour specific Gosman or Coalition specific?1,000,000,000 trees over 10yrs, 100,000,000 (hundred million) a year…nope, broken promise.

        Homelessness, gone up!

        Unemployment, gone up!

        Child poverty, gone up! (Have to add an addendum to this one as another 'recalibration' is on the cards, so one will have to assume the new numbers will show a drop? It was Jacinda's pet project before leader and during so to show a rise would be rather embarrassing)

    • "Reminding us" of promises you made up isn't reminding us, it's making stuff up. 

      • Gosman 8.2.1

        Why would reminding you of a say a promise made by Phil Twyford to resign if his 100,000 Kiwibuild houses over 10 years was not achievable be making stuff up?

        [lprent: Perhaps I should ban you until the end of that period so you can figure out when he’d have to resign.

        Please don’t lie quite so extravagantly. It just makes me want to kick you off the site for being a simpleton. ]

    • Im right 8.3

      Fuck off Lynne, you lefties on here post innuendo/falsehoods regarding National without links, but different when your precious Labour govt is being put under the spotlight you don't like it…No apology, truth hurts I know, suck it up Lynne

      Ban me, I really don't care it's just a small lefty blog, no sleep will ever be lost on my part!

      [lprent: So if you are still too stupid to learn – then go back to a permanent ban. See my reply below. ]

      • lprent 8.3.1

        ah no. If you ever look closely at what gets moderator attention, you will find that the assertion of false facts that gets very strong reactions. Especially when you don’t even state where the rear-end diarrhoea you wrote derives from.

        We don’t much care about opinion or innuendo or even hyperbole- so long as if is clear that what is being stated is the writers opinions or what they understand to be the case or even if they write an argument about how they arrived at their ideas..

        However just inventing a story as an assertion of fact, as you appeared to do, has no place on this site. Amongst other reasons that is because it is potentially defamatory when directed against an individual or organisation. But mostly because it juat exposes a massive sense of entitlement combined with a monumental level of stupidity.

        Since we carry that legal risks on this site and you do not, we don’t allow it as it goes beyond robust debate

        If you don’t want to follow our policies then you are welcome to fuck off. I am not really prepared to support tossers being complete arseholes on my computers.

  9. Hooch 9

    I’m not really sure whether to heap the blame on Hipkins or these other ministers. What we need to remember is that they’re all taking advice from the ministry. A ministry that will have been turned into a neo-liberal cesspit over the past decade by national. Tasked with destroying the unions and paving the way for charter schools. The government may have changed but the jokers in these ministries haven’t.

    In saying that thought they seemed to have altered the course of the NZTA fairly quickly. So there may be some element of the ministers stymying the talks with the union. 

    The trouble is the argument has been reduced to greedy teachers just want more money all over the msm. The teachers have lost control of the narrative. And when you hear the likes of Hipkins perpetuating this meme it really irritates and makes him come across as a right wing stooge.

  10. michelle 10

    the sooner we fix this mess the better 

  11. Stuart Munro. 11

    I have family in teaching, and get to hear and see what's been going on. There are a lot of issues here, some of which come from outside teaching, and some from within. The big one driving the current strike is of course cost of living – rent and utilities have inflated out of all proportion since a number of irresponsible governments plundered the capital value of power and telecoms, which, once privatized, inflated prices to recover their capital costs from consumers. Add that to the open slather on foreign property purchases that drove the real estate bubble to its current level of dysfunction, and not just teachers, but most of what was once a large middle class have been precipitated into the lower class with all the attendant insecurities.

    Then there are systemic issues, a focus on low-quality assessment has increased teacher burdens without improving student outcomes. Teachers are very much driven by professionalism and a desire to help our students, many are stressed because they feel they're not getting to do so adequately.

    And then there are the double standards. Bloke I know, 20 year professional with an MA from another field, began retraining as a maths teacher, a specialty in short supply. Aced his maths papers of course, but got the runaround six ways from Sunday from the institutional gatekeepers. So he gave it a miss. Thing is, the substitutes that do what he would have done are often fresh UK graduates with none of the qualities ostensibly required. One of the family spends a fair amount of time showing them how to do things under the NCEA.

    As usual the Gnats have made a squalid mess, and Hipkins is left to carry this particular can. He has good credibility with teachers, but that alone won't fix things. 

    • Gosman 11.1

      I thought Kiwibuild and the restriction on foreigners buying existing properties were meant to fix the housing situation? Surely these cost will come down now and the Teachers will be much happier.

      • Psycho Milt 11.1.1

        Yes, that property bubble that was inflated for more than a decade will shrink now.  That will take quite a long time.  If you're not happy about that, maybe you shouldn't have spent nine years voting for a government that was helping inflate the bubble. 

        • Gosman 11.1.1.1

          Why would it take a long time to deflate? Surely the best way of helping poor teachers is to deflate it quickly. If the measures take to sort out the housing bubble are effective that is what should happen.

          • Psycho Milt 11.1.1.1.1

            I'm sure you'd love to see the coalition take measures that would cause a drastic fall in house prices and leave large numbers of voters owing more than their house is worth, because it would certainly make them a one-term government. For fairly obvious reasons, they're unlikely to oblige you.

        • Im right 11.1.1.2

          So who is being economical with the truth now Psycho?

          It just takes a short Google search to see the house price increase %age from 1999-2008 Vs 2009-2017….spoiler alert: it's higher under Labour 😥

          • Psycho Milt 11.1.1.2.1

            Yes, 5th Labour weren't much cop at dealing with it either.  Mind you, John Key had identified it as a crisis by 2008 but then his government spent three terms pretending it wasn't really a crisis after all – very high level of culpability there.

          • Dukeofurl 11.1.1.2.2

            "It just takes a short Google search to see the house price increase %age from 1999-2008 Vs 2009-2017"

             

            really . The Reserve bank figures Ive seen stop at 2015- who  else would have 
             up to date numbers ?
            https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/-/media/ReserveBank/Files/Publications/Bulletins/2016/2016jan79-1.pdf
            Plus they use log scales and ‘real prices ( excluding inflation)- so difficult using eye ball to esitmate the change from the index

          • The Unliving 11.1.1.2.3

            Keep in mind that house prices started off in 1999 at a much lower base (especially relative to average incomes). From the Global Property Guide (look about half way down) you can see median house prices were ~$175k in 1999 and ~$340k in 2008 (crisis levels, according to John Key). By 2017 they were ~$550k. And over at the Herald you can see from A decade of Auckland house price growth the growth rates in Auckland since 2007. Much higher than the average for NZ.

      • Stuart Munro. 11.1.2

        I doubt you thought anything of the kind. The best these measures will achieve is to slow the inflation – an important step, but it won't pay teachers' rent.

      • The Chairman 11.1.3

        IMO, the restriction on foreigner buyers should have been a very high, wider reaching tax (as a disincentive and a form of revenue) rather than a set of restrictions full of exemptions.

        This (below) is interesting

    • The Chairman 11.2

      yes Good points (at 10) Stuart. 

  12. Panda 12

    The teachers need to get back to negotiations. This Govt are listening and unless they actually shore up what the heck they actually want its not going to happen. By the time they realise that pay is not going to increase it will be time for new negotiations. There has been huge movement on conditions and I hear more to come. How about some good faith from the teaching fraternity. I am not seeing anything worth being particulary on the side of teachers and having a son with learning difficulties being tested each maths class before being allowed to leave and most given detentions for not getting quick fire questions right, am starting to think the teachers are full of shite. Bring back teachers that actually give a damn about their students. The ones that used to be on the sidelines with sports games and helping kids.

    • KJT 12.1

      Too busy with lesson plans,  individual reports,  paperwork and assessments, dictated from above.

      Last time I was teaching, the required paperwork took twice as long as the teaching. It has only got worse by all accounts.

      Especially bs summative,  assessment.

    • In Vino 12.2

      Panda – I am I my 70s now, and I used to coach/manage Saturday sports teams all winter, despite knowing bugger all about the sport.. 

      I still do day relief now, and I cannot see that teachers care any less about their students than 40 years ago. Be fair: the system has never been able to cope with kids with learning difficulties, apart from a few exceptions. Teachers are drowned with too many students to be able to cope with on-going individual need, especially when the teacher has no training about how to cope with a certain difficulty.

      eg – I never had any training on how to help dyslexic students.. at parent interview I asked a father of a boy in my English class if he had had his boy eye-tested. He had, and had bought the boy prescription glasses for several $100s..   The boy had mangled and destroyed them because he did not want the stigma of wearing glasses. This was in the late 1980s.

      The father was in tears by the time he had told me that, and I was close to tears as well because he had been to SPELD etc, and I could offer no more ideas. (He was a nice boy, by the way, and I don't think I gave him many detentions. But some kids do make pains of themselves in class.)

      Lay off slagging current teachers. I still see what they are doing, and can compare it to the past. They are doing their best, and being frustrated by their conditions of work.

  13. Cinny 13

    Melanie, thank you for such an important informative post, it's very much appreciated.

    EDIT….
    Here’s a thought, healthy, happy children would no doubt be a bit easier to teach than grumpy sick kids.

    With that in mind, am looking forward to the rest of the Well Being Budget, may it help to result in professions, especially teaching, become less stressful.

    Healthy food provided at school, now that would help.

    • Melulater 13.1

      Thanks Cinny.  Children also need happy healthy teachers.  At the open we're struggling with that.

  14. Peter 14

    The teacher negotiations/strike are good for some people. While they provide more fodder for government haters and union haters to exploit, they present a dilemma too. 

    Some who want the government embarrassed by strike action, hate teachers and resent their unions and don't want them to get more money. On the other hand they want teachers to strike for political reasons.

    At least the moronic among them will be too moronic to appreciate what they're being moronic about.

  15. David Mac 15

    The teachers' greatest asset is you and me. At the moment I think the lion-share of the population is with them. A waning of popular support will see their cause fight for traction.

    I hope they're close to a handshake. It must represent the biggest pay rise since the Hula Hoop.

    • In Vino 15.1

      People need to understand that teachers' conditions of work are pretty much the students' conditions of learning. Too often the Govt and Ministry give lip-service to the wonderful potential of our students at the same time as they under-resource those who are teaching them, making their task near impossible.

      • Sacha 15.1.1

        "teachers' conditions of work are pretty much the students' conditions of learning"

        Well-said, thank you.

  16. David Mac 16

    Hat's off to our government standing fast…. 

    "Happy to discuss details teachers but $ wise, that's it."

    My heart goes out to regular contributors here that struggle with the cards life has dealt them. If we're going to bump teachers up to executive salaries…lets bump them up a healthy amount and direct the left-over to the cold and hungry instead. Raise all boats.

    Make like a social democrat and give a fuck about everyone.

     

    • Grant 16.1

      Executive salaries my arse. Do you actually believe that or are you just making shit up because you feel it must be true?

      • David Mac 16.1.1

        Yep, I'm making stuff up because I feel it must be true. Ain't we all?

  17. Jenny - How to get there? 17

    As Bernie Sanders and AOC have repeatedly pointed out, there is never any money for education, or healthcare, or welfare, but there is never a shortage of money for warfare.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/86517473/government-releases-details-on-planned-20b-defence-spend

    Andrew Little when he was leader of the Labour Party pointed out where the money for health could come from

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/326609/defence-force-upgrade-in-question-under-labour-govt

    “But I have to tell you when it comes down to a choice between doing stuff that’s going to give people a chance to either get a roof over their head, get the kids set up for opportunities for the future, then that’s got to come first,” Mr Little said.

    • Jenny - How to get there? 17.1


      My how things have changed.

      At the time even Winston Peters was moved to criticise the massive $20 billion spend-up on our warfare capability.

      New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said the plan would blow out the books, whoever was in government.

      "They are actually preposterous in their size … if any of [the proposed figures are] true there goes your surplus for a start.

      https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/326609/defence-force-upgrade-in-question-under-labour-govt

      Peters needs to reminded of his own words.

      When they again go on air to state that there is no more money for the teachers, Ardern and Robertson need to be reminded of Andrew’s words.

      • greywarshark 17.1.1

        Jenny H

        That's a clear and cool dichotomy – so true for USA and many countries –

        Welfare~~or~~ Warfare?

        • Jenny - How to get there? 17.1.1.1

          In opposition welfare has priority, in power warfare

          Mr Little was unapologetic for what his priorities would be.

          We want to support our armed forces but there's no point in saying we'll have state-of-the-art equipment if the people that are rocking up to be recruited into the armed services don't have a good education [and] good foundation that enables them to do that.

          https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/326609/defence-force-upgrade-in-question-under-labour-govt

          That was then.

          This is now.

          No more money says Ardern, as primary teachers reject latest offer

          Jacinda Ardern said today she understood the frustration from teachers, however there were competing demands and cost pressures.

          …..when asked if there was more money available to offer, Ms Ardern said: No, there isn’t.

          https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/no-more-money-says-ardern-primary-teachers-reject-latest-offer

          $20 billion for the military, peanuts for teachers.

          Who are Ardern and Robertson trying to kid when they say there is no money?

          • The Chairman 17.1.1.1.1

            yesWell highlighted, Jenny.

             

            Furthermore, Little was the elected choice of the left within the party, Jacinda wasn't. And we've also seen how quick she dropped a CGT.

            • Jenny - How to get there? 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, there is lots of money. Ardern and Robertson just choose not to spend it on health and education. Prioritising spending it on the military instead.

              Where as, Little said he was "unapologetic" that his priority would be "good education" over military spending.

              If Robertson is having trouble finding money for education he could take it from the killing machine. In my opinion this enormous spending is mostly wasteful anyway.
               

              • The Chairman

                Yes. Every time Labour claim there is no more money we need to point to the military spend as an example of their spending priorities.  

  18. Jenny - How to get there? 18

    It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the NZDF has to run a cake stall to buy a new warship.

    NZ Defence Force to get $20bn upgrade

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/305878/nz-defence-force-to-get-$20bn-upgrade

  19. Jenny - How to get there? 19

    Defence Force to buy $500m naval tanker

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/308894/defence-force-to-buy-$500m-naval-tanker

    And they never had to go on strike to get it.

    • Jenny - How to get there? 19.1

      And the extravagance continues.

      Cost of frigates upgrade rises $100m

      https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/306534/cost-of-frigates'-upgrade-rises-$100m

      While we waiting for the proverbial gold taps to be fitted. The reason most given for this eye watering extravagance, is that we have to pay for our armed forces are compatible with the armed forces of our allies.

      Spending billions sucking up to the US global hegemon, it might be worth pondering why our education system still refuses to teach the history of the British Empire in this country.

      We might also ponder if we really should be allied with a country whose leader flirts with white supremacists. And threatens to topple elected governments that offer no threat to them or us.

  20. Patricia 20

    This may have been suggested but a possible solution could be to accept what the government has offered on condition that such new salaries are indexed to inflation – and anything else that might be suggested.  Compounding interest is a wonderful tool.  The teachers and many other state workers have suffered for so so long that something has to done to put a stop to any Government now or in the future abusing them again.

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