The Government has intensified a developing standoff with teacher unions.
After The Dominion Post revealed yesterday early plans by the primary teachers union to strike over the national standards policy, Education Minister Anne Tolley hit back, telling Parliament she was “disappointed” by the unions.
“I find it really disappointing that the unions want to stop parents getting information about how their kids are doing,” Mrs Tolley said.
“This Government is on the side of parents and we’re on the side of kids.”
Now that is not a typo. The unions are not going to strike over more pay, or smaller class sizes. They are going to strike to refuse to implement the policy of the Government, despite an explicit election mandate for it.
As far as I can tell, Anne has bent over backwards to work with the unions. She even said she’d work with them to try and stop the media publishing league tables. But they seem implacably opposed to giving parents nationally consistent and relevant information.
I say bring it on. Let this be Mrs Thatcher’s miners. The unions plans to pressure school boards to refuse to implement the standards. My response would be no standards, no funding.
All power to the union when they are trying to get payrises for their members. That is their legitimate role. But the unions seek to determine the education policy of New Zealand. They think the voters and the parents are unqualified. This is a battle over who is in charge of the education system and who does it exist for – is it the unions – or is it pupils and parents.
If you think the national standards is crap policy, then you’ll get a chance at the next election to get them thrown out. Elections should determine policy, not unions.Tags: Anne Tolley, Education, national standards