Pay settlement ‘farce’

Parity deal disappoints some primary principals.

Parity deal disappoints some primary principals.

Many Gisborne primary principals are disappointed with the new settlement from the Ministry of Education which gives them pay parity with secondary principals.

Te Wharau School principal Steve Berezowski said gaining pay parity with secondary principals was a bit of a farce.

“I believe we gave in too quickly.

“I can guarantee secondary principals will agree to the same base salary increase as us but between them and the ministry they will come up with other increases that don’t fall under the parity umbrella.”

“I am disappointed with the decision to accept the ministry’s offer.”

The settlement will ensure primary, intermediate and secondary principals of similar-sized schools will receive the same base salary, across key components of remuneration.

NZEI Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart said pay parity with secondary principals was simply a matter of fairness, and it was crucial to get an agreement that would make it worthwhile for senior teachers to consider moving into a principal role.

Mr Berezowski voted against the offer as he felt there was little difference from what had previously been turned down.

“The accepted offer is nowhere near the NZEI’s initial claim for principals.

“A two-year term was asked for, we ended up with three (four if you count the year of negotiation).

“A 16 percent base salary increase over the two years was asked for — we ended up with 11 percent over four years.”

“I believe a lot of principals just wanted to get on with their work and voted to accept because the length of negotiations had worn them down.

“A large number will also have put a lot of faith into the signed ‘Accord’ when voting.”

Central School principal Andrew Hayward said the new settlement did not address the issues of workload and while he welcomed the increase to their salary package, he was concerned it didn’t make a big enough shift in salary for principals of the smaller schools.

“It will get harder to attract quality applicants with leadership experience to these roles when deputy principals in larger primary schools attract a similar salary.

“What would entice them to take on the added responsibilities as a principal?”

“Personally, I’m happy it has been settled, although not because of the offer that was accepted by the collective.”

While the offer does include a small salary increase, it did not meet the expectations in other areas, he said.

“I’m just glad the process is over. It has been long and drawn out and I don’t think any further industrial action by principals would have had any significant impact on the offer from the government.”

Mr Hayward said he was pleased there was an agreement with the ministry to continue to work with the NZEI in areas such as wellbeing, workload and the complexity of the principal role.

“I only hope this is not lip service and action will follow in the near future.”

Te Hapara School principal Linda Savage said she was surprised by the “yes” vote as she was aware many of her contemporaries had voted “no”.

Although happy to get parity with secondary principals, her concern was the ministry hadn’t made it desirable to work as a principal in smaller schools, which come under the U1 and U2 categories.

This meant these school communities might struggle to get people applying for jobs and beginning principals would miss the opportunity to get experience before moving into the role of principal in a larger school, she said.

“There needs to be an incentive for people to take on principal roles in smaller schools.”

Commenting on the acceptance of the offer, Kaiti School principal Billie-Jean Potaka-Ayton said, “It is about time!”

NZEI head Lynda Stuart said it had been a long and gruelling campaign, and she was proud of the way members had stayed united and held out for a fair offer, despite the personal cost.

It was the sixth offer to principals since collective agreement negotiations began on April 16, 2018.

During that time, principals held three strike days alongside primary teachers, including one on May 29 this year that included secondary and area school teachers.

Following the May 29 strike, primary and area school teachers accepted new offers that gave them parity with their secondary colleagues, but primary and intermediate principals voted to fight on.

They took partial strike action from July 8 until August 16, in which they disengaged from ministry meetings and communication.

“This settlement of course doesn’t address all of the issues we face as principals, and work will now begin in earnest with the Ministry and PPTA Te Wehengarua to make progress on the accord that forms part of the terms of settlement,” she said.

Many Gisborne primary principals are disappointed with the new settlement from the Ministry of Education which gives them pay parity with secondary principals.

Te Wharau School principal Steve Berezowski said gaining pay parity with secondary principals was a bit of a farce.

“I believe we gave in too quickly.

“I can guarantee secondary principals will agree to the same base salary increase as us but between them and the ministry they will come up with other increases that don’t fall under the parity umbrella.”

“I am disappointed with the decision to accept the ministry’s offer.”

The settlement will ensure primary, intermediate and secondary principals of similar-sized schools will receive the same base salary, across key components of remuneration.

NZEI Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart said pay parity with secondary principals was simply a matter of fairness, and it was crucial to get an agreement that would make it worthwhile for senior teachers to consider moving into a principal role.

Mr Berezowski voted against the offer as he felt there was little difference from what had previously been turned down.

“The accepted offer is nowhere near the NZEI’s initial claim for principals.

“A two-year term was asked for, we ended up with three (four if you count the year of negotiation).

“A 16 percent base salary increase over the two years was asked for — we ended up with 11 percent over four years.”

“I believe a lot of principals just wanted to get on with their work and voted to accept because the length of negotiations had worn them down.

“A large number will also have put a lot of faith into the signed ‘Accord’ when voting.”

Central School principal Andrew Hayward said the new settlement did not address the issues of workload and while he welcomed the increase to their salary package, he was concerned it didn’t make a big enough shift in salary for principals of the smaller schools.

“It will get harder to attract quality applicants with leadership experience to these roles when deputy principals in larger primary schools attract a similar salary.

“What would entice them to take on the added responsibilities as a principal?”

“Personally, I’m happy it has been settled, although not because of the offer that was accepted by the collective.”

While the offer does include a small salary increase, it did not meet the expectations in other areas, he said.

“I’m just glad the process is over. It has been long and drawn out and I don’t think any further industrial action by principals would have had any significant impact on the offer from the government.”

Mr Hayward said he was pleased there was an agreement with the ministry to continue to work with the NZEI in areas such as wellbeing, workload and the complexity of the principal role.

“I only hope this is not lip service and action will follow in the near future.”

Te Hapara School principal Linda Savage said she was surprised by the “yes” vote as she was aware many of her contemporaries had voted “no”.

Although happy to get parity with secondary principals, her concern was the ministry hadn’t made it desirable to work as a principal in smaller schools, which come under the U1 and U2 categories.

This meant these school communities might struggle to get people applying for jobs and beginning principals would miss the opportunity to get experience before moving into the role of principal in a larger school, she said.

“There needs to be an incentive for people to take on principal roles in smaller schools.”

Commenting on the acceptance of the offer, Kaiti School principal Billie-Jean Potaka-Ayton said, “It is about time!”

NZEI head Lynda Stuart said it had been a long and gruelling campaign, and she was proud of the way members had stayed united and held out for a fair offer, despite the personal cost.

It was the sixth offer to principals since collective agreement negotiations began on April 16, 2018.

During that time, principals held three strike days alongside primary teachers, including one on May 29 this year that included secondary and area school teachers.

Following the May 29 strike, primary and area school teachers accepted new offers that gave them parity with their secondary colleagues, but primary and intermediate principals voted to fight on.

They took partial strike action from July 8 until August 16, in which they disengaged from ministry meetings and communication.

“This settlement of course doesn’t address all of the issues we face as principals, and work will now begin in earnest with the Ministry and PPTA Te Wehengarua to make progress on the accord that forms part of the terms of settlement,” she said.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Are you pleased that New Zealand history will be taught in all schools and kura from 2022?