As has seemed likely for some time now, secondary teachers have decided to strike:
Secondary school teachers have voted overwhelmingly to strike after rejecting the Government’s latest pay offer.
Thousands of Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) members last week voted for strike action after earlier voting to stop pay talks with the Ministry of Education. Teachers want a 4 percent pay rise, while the ministry is offering a 1.5 percent rise.
The first nationwide day-long strike could take place within the next fortnight, and further strikes could follow.
PPTA president Kate Gainsford said today the ministry had set the tone for negotiations by proposing a number of claw-backs. Discussions around issues such as capping class sizes and free influenza immunisations for teachers had been shut down, she said. …
The PPTA was still open to further negotiations. “We’ve called off strikes before, we’ll do it again if we see movement of the kind that we need to see,” Ms Gainsford said.
Tolley has failed here, as she has failed in primary schools with national standards.
Education Minister Anne Tolley urged the PPTA to get back around the bargaining table. “It’s (the strike action) extremely disappointing and won’t be welcomed by parents,” she said.
She’s right, parents won’t welcome the strikes. Expect a few angry vox pop spots as the media have a wallow in it. But parents would welcome even less the falling of educational standards that will follow rising class sizes and the erosion of conditions for teachers. Before buying this unnecessary fight Tolley should remind herself that we the people are rather more fond of teachers than we are of politicians…