Teach­ers’ strikes start­ing on Mon­day

Bay of Plenty Times - - Nation - Si­mon Collins Kurt Bayer

Pri­mary teach­ers will go ahead with rolling re­gional strikes next week af­ter teach­ers re­jected the lat­est Govern­ment pay of­fer worth $700 mil­lion over three years.

The NZ Ed­u­ca­tional In­sti­tute (NZEI) said fa­cil­i­ta­tion un­der the Em­ploy­ment Re­la­tions Au­thor­ity ended on Thurs­day and the strike meet­ings will con­sider new of­fers from the min­istry and rec­om­men­da­tions from the fa­cil­i­ta­tor.

Strik­ing pri­mary prin­ci­pals and teach­ers will be ral­ly­ing on more than 100 street cor­ners in Auck­land at 7.30am on Mon­day, and hav­ing mass meet­ings to con­sider the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion later that day.

The min­istry made a new of­fer to teach­ers on Thurs­day, but did not move on its ear­lier of­fer to raise pay scales by 3 per cent a year for three years.

Its lat­est of­fer in­cluded a new top step and the par­tial re­moval of a cap on qual­i­fi­ca­tions for some teach­ers from 2020.

NZEI pres­i­dent Lynda Stu­art said the of­fers did not ad­dress union claims for lower class sizes and more pro­fes­sional time.

“The ques­tion is: will this ad­dress the cri­sis in ed­u­ca­tion and the teacher short­age? What we asked for had chil­dren at the heart Key el­e­ments of new of­fer for teach­ers

■ 3 per cent per year over a three year term (un­changed).

■ No in­crease in class­room re­lease time (un­changed).

■ A new top pay step for teach­ers with de­grees plus pro­fes­sional teach­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tions from 2020.

■ Re­moval of the qual­i­fi­ca­tions cap on pro­gres­sion for teach­ers with­out de­grees from 2020.

■ A $500 lump sum for NZEI mem­bers only.

be­ing held dur­ing the strikes.

“The strike ac­tion still stands as the of­fer is not sub­stan­tially dif­fer­ent enough to give us the man­date to re­voke the strike no­tice. We will give mem­bers the op­por­tu­nity to con­sider the of­fer, any rec­om­men­da­tions from the ERA, and next steps.”

Strikes will take place in Auck­land on Mon­day, the rest of the North Is­land (ex­cept Welling­ton) on Tues­day, Christchurch on Wed­nes­day, the rest of the South Is­land on Thurs­day, and Welling­ton on Fri­day.

Sec­re­tary of Ed­u­ca­tion Iona Hol­sted said the min­istry’s of­fer would give teach­ers $698 mil­lion over three years — $129m more than the pre­vi­ous of­fer.

“Most teach­ers would get be­tween $9500 and $11,000 ex­tra an­nu­ally in their pay pack­ets by 2020,” she said.

“The of­fer also pro­vides for ad­di­tional pro­gres­sion on the pay scale.

“Our of­fer took into ac­count the large in­vest­ment be­ing made by the Govern­ment into learn­ing sup­port, in­clud­ing the re­cent an­nounce­ment of $217m for 600 new learn­ing sup­port c-oor­di­na­tor roles, which the NZEI has asked for as part of eas­ing teacher work­load and help­ing par­ents and chil­dren.

“We ex­pected the NZEI Ex­ec­u­tive would have waited for the rec­om­men­da­tions of the fa­cil­i­ta­tor and given its mem­bers an op­por­tu­nity to prop­erly con­sider our new pay of­fer be­fore de­cid­ing to go ahead with strikes.

Rec­om­men­da­tions from the Em­ploy­ment Re­la­tions Au­thor­ity were to be avail­able by late yes­ter­day.

“Set­tling pay ne­go­ti­a­tions with the NZEI is im­por­tant and we have done all we can to reach agree­ment. We know strike ac­tion is dis­rup­tive for chil­dren’s learn­ing and for par­ents.” A se­rial sex­ual de­viant who has preyed on women and chil­dren for three decades was yes­ter­day sen­tenced to pre­ven­tive de­ten­tion.

The 52-year-old Can­ter­bury man, who can­not be named for le­gal rea­sons, was found guilty of rap­ing a woman on a weekly ba­sis over six months in 2012.

He was ear­lier found guilty by a jury in the High Court at Christchurch on two rep­re­sen­ta­tive charges of rape and one rep­re­sen­ta­tive charge of un­law­ful sex­ual con­nec­tion against the woman.

She has been left suf­fer­ing from post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der, de­pres­sion and panic at­tacks.

“You took away my dig­nity. This will haunt me for the rest of my life,” said the woman, who has name sup­pres­sion.

Yes­ter­day, the Crown pushed for a sen­tence of pre­ven­tive de­ten­tion, ar­gu­ing it was nec­es­sary to pro­tect the com­mu­nity.

Crown pros­e­cu­tor Mitchell McCle­naghan said the man has been of­fend­ing sex­u­ally for more than 30 years

He had shown “no real re­morse” or un­der­stand­ing of con­sent. His first con­vic­tion for sex­ual of­fend­ing was in 1989 and he has pre­vi­ous his­tory for child sex of­fences against boys and girls.

His pat­tern of of­fend­ing shows he forms in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ships be­fore prey­ing on their vul­ner­a­bil­ity and sex­u­ally of­fend­ing against them, the court heard.

McCle­naghan noted that the only group he hasn’t preyed against is adult males.

The man, who had been abused as a child, is as­sessed as be­ing a medium-to-high risk re­of­fender, with the court hear­ing he is “strongly driven by sex­ual de­viancy”.

Jus­tice Cameron Man­der con­cluded the man was el­i­gi­ble for a sen­tence of pre­ven­tive de­ten­tion, high­light­ing the man’s con­tin­ued de­nials and lack of in­sight.

The judge said a sen­tence of pre­ven­tive de­ten­tion would mean he is not re­leased un­til there is at least a de­gree of con­fi­dence the com­mu­nity would not be at risk.

The man was sen­tenced to pre­ven­tive de­ten­tion with a min­i­mum pe­riod of seven years’ im­pris­on­ment.

PHOTO / FILE

NZEI na­tional pres­i­dent Lynda Stu­art has con­firmed that pri­mary teach­ers will strike again next week.

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