Great speech by Ryall

October 1st, 2010 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

I love this speech by to the :

The tone of this conference here in Wellington will no doubt stand in stark contrast to that of the Irish public sector union only a few months ago.

In what has been described as a firebrand speech, the union chief demanded his members accept a four year strike ban, a pay freeze following pay cuts, massive redundancies and rationalisations – all of which were agreed with the Irish government earlier in the year.

What is more remarkable is the acceptance by his members and others in the public sector that the global financial crisis and its impact on the Celtic Tiger required such austerity….that is acceptance from the unions other than the secondary teachers union.

After undertaking months of industrial action including marching in the streets, that secondary teachers union there last week decided to finally accept the facts of recession and is joining the wider public sector pay restraint.

Wonderful swipe at the by implication there. How long is it going to take the to realise they are not getting free laptop for every teacher?

And then Tony continues:

The United Kingdom is facing the largest peacetime deficit in their history. Public servants earning more than $40,000 are facing a two year wage freeze, and performance-related pay for civil servants will be cut by 2/3rds.

Just last week the Governor of the Bank of England urged unions to accept public sector reforms and job cuts by warning that anything short of tackling the UK’s Budget deficit would “fail the next generation.”

In Italy the Government passed an austerity package of around $50 billion of saving which includes a freeze on public sector wages.

In Ireland the Government has cut public service salaries – including doctors, nurses, and teachers – by up to 15%.

Greeces socialist government has frozen public sector wages and pensions for the next three years.

In Hungary they plan to cut the cost of public servants pay by 15% and freeze government spending.

The Portugese government has put a hiring freeze on its civil service, along with a 5% wage cut for top earners in the public sector.

Germany has the strongest economy in Europe.  But the Germans plan  to reduce the number of their federal public servants by 15,000 – or 5% – and cut their salaries by 2.5%.

Canada has frozen wages in the public service for the next two to three years.

Compared to what’s happened internationally, New Zealand’s response has been fair, moderate and pragmatic.

And then Tony goes on to praise the PSA:

I would like to acknowledge the Public Service Association for the constructive and responsible part you have played in employment negotiations to date. You are professional yet determined.

You have sought settlements for your members that recognise the tough financial times we are all in.

While hard fought, those settlements have been responsible, realistic and fair to both parties…often between one and two percent. You’ve also been innovative in your approach to addressing productivity improvement.

Which is another message to the PPTA they are not getting 4%.

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56 Responses to “Great speech by Ryall”

  1. Minnie (89 comments) says:

    It is even possible they gave him a polite ovation…in stark contrast to the childish reception Tolley received earlier this week.

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  2. Grizz (613 comments) says:

    Here is another example of a Union behaving responsibly. I wonder what Tony Ryall thought of this one. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10676962

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  3. gravedodger (1,575 comments) says:

    As the PPTA stalwarts are not big on comprehension ,, ah well irony is another facet they miss, and of course Mrs Tolley can present as rude you know, not anything like the delegates to their recent conference.

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  4. ben (2,280 comments) says:

    Looks like Ryall has been reading “How to win friends”. Handing out complements to such a militant, destructive organisation has to be for some higher purpose.

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  5. taranaki (20 comments) says:

    DPF, I can’t believe that you’re arguing that teachers shouldn’t be given a computer. A basic fricken tool that any professional needs to do their job and as a country we are squirming about trying to find the money for it.

    Talk about dumbing down the education system: in many school teachers can only have a laptop at work if they find the money to buy their own.

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  6. James Stephenson (2,268 comments) says:

    Did you see him on Breakfast this morning? Pin-striped suit jacket and some Hawaiian-ish shirt that even *he* couldn’t find a tie he was prepared to wear with it…

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  7. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,705 comments) says:

    Taranaki, next thing you know they’ll be wanting heat pumps in each class room AND the staff room.

    They don’t really NEED laptops. They want them. Teachers taught effectively for decades without laptops. That was back in the days when some of them had brains.

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  8. k.jones (210 comments) says:

    adolf, in a uncharacteristic change from discussing issues I would like to say, with all due respect, you are a gimp.

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  9. Bevan (3,232 comments) says:

    What do they need laptops for? Email? Facebook?

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  10. max (30 comments) says:

    One key difference. Unlike Ireland our government debt isn’t 100% of GDP

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  11. k.jones (210 comments) says:

    Confession time: I’m chair of the New Zealand/Aoetearoa Luddite Society (NZALS), and while publicly we recommend teachers continue to use drawings in the sand and the abacus, I do admit that NZLAS does operate a ZX spectrum for our members database. So in this instance, I can see merit in the teachers having computers in every classroom. After all, they will be in many New Zealand workplaces in the future.

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  12. plum (38 comments) says:

    @ Adolf – accountants, lawyers and medical professionals all worked for decades without computers, too. Why did that change? Because their organisations felt that the productivity gains to be had from working on computers justified the cost. Perhaps the same argument could be made for teachers – unless you want your kids working off hand or type-written assignment sheets, or the teachers receiving work-related information in hard copy in their ‘pigeon holes’ rather than on email like the rest of the world.

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  13. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,705 comments) says:

    Plum, maybe you and your other mates need to go and get yourselves some education. In particular, you might well benefit from learning to read.

    Nowhere did I say teachers did not need access to computers.

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  14. k.jones (210 comments) says:

    Adolf mate – that’s soooo weak.

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  15. plum (38 comments) says:

    alright Adolf, you distinguish between computers and laptops. I’m Gen Y – the only computers I ever use ARE laptops. Even so, laptops would seem to make more sense for teachers than desktops when they move from room to room and often don’t have a dedicated work space.

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  16. Psycho Milt (2,429 comments) says:

    They might have been more persuaded if Tony had been able to cite instances of him and his colleagues leading the austerity drive by example, but those would have been a bit harder for him to find than instances of countries with far worse govt debt than NZ biting the bullet.

    Re the PPTA, Ryall’s govt could always try actually allowing the Min of Ed to negotiate with the teachers and find out what their bottom line demands really are – but of course it’s harder work than talking shit to the media, which seems to be the preferred option.

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  17. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    This dispute is only a small part of the big picture.

    There are whole governmental organisations that are irrelevant and could be disbanded today with great cost savings and the sun would still come up tomorrow. Rpobably brighter and warmer if the truth be known. Those organisations have been listed on kiwiblog a number of times by various posters so I won’t bother repeating them. This one is a sideshow.

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  18. James Stephenson (2,268 comments) says:

    The solution to the “laptops or not” question is surely to bulk-fund the school and let those running the place decide, because laptops aren’t much use without a lot of other infrastructure around them, a teacher’s #1 tool whilst kids are still writing on paper is a red biro.

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  19. CJD (333 comments) says:

    Of course Ryall would praise the PSA-The PSA is nothing but government ruse to allow public servants to think they have some form of union voice. They have no teeth at all. And following on using DPF’s resoning regarding the Chancellors at Uni’s wanting to deal only with a president of a student body rather than every student individually.
    Well wouldn’t the government be similarly pleased to deal through the PSA. I hate unionism but I must say the PSA is next to useless in collective bairgaining for it’s members. Tell that to Tony “I’ll do anything to keep my nose in the trough” Ryall

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  20. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    # Bevan (2,636) Says:
    October 1st, 2010 at 11:43 am

    What do they need laptops for? Email? Facebook?

    Their work, you pathetically blinkered little know-it-all.

    My little 6yo girl’s teacher works ten hour days and is utterly dependent on all of the material she keeps in her laptop which she somehow found the money to pay for out of the approximately $17/hr she earns (before tax, and only for 8 of those ten hours…) They aren’t all cynical communist bastards trying to bankrupt the country, except in the diseased minds of rabid blog fanboys.

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  21. Nefarious (533 comments) says:

    If a primary school teacher is utterly dependent on the material they keep on their laptop then perhaps they are in the wrong job, no?

    Would she be incapable of turning up on Monday and providing an education to her pupils if her laptop was stolen over the weekend?

    What does she teach the six year olds? Are the instructions for counting to 100 and the order of the alphabet not found elsewhere? Can’t she remember her times tables?

    Give me a sodding break, I managed years as an engineer without a laptop and even now it’s as much of a burden to getting anything done as it is a tool thanks to the incessant emails and lure of debating politics with moaning visionless fuckwits.

    Just what our kids need, teachers spending more time on arsebook and twatter organising pissups, strikes and protests with their useless lefty mates cos da gubbmint dont give us enough dollars yo. Except for da piss ups.

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  22. gravedodger (1,575 comments) says:

    I think all pensioners need a subsidised ( there is no free lunch) laptop to keep up with the wonderful world of the internet, why just teachers.

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  23. CJD (333 comments) says:

    Woooa RRM-two words “anger management”

    As for teachers-what would we do without these selfless souls who daily assist with the necessary indoctrination of young minds as to the folly of attempting to rise above their peers and achieve greatness. Thank God for these brave defenders of the socialist utopia we all aspire to…

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  24. Fot (252 comments) says:

    “They aren’t all cynical communist bastards trying to bankrupt the country”

    Except that all evidence would suggest that is exactly what they are trying to do.

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  25. PaulL (5,450 comments) says:

    RRM: so out of all the possible things that a particular teacher in a particular school might need so as to do their job better, we think that every single one of them needs a laptop. No ifs, no buts, not even if they have a laptop already, not even if they have a desktop in their classroom, they should all still be given a laptop. Can you see how silly that sounds? How about agreeing that many teachers might need a laptop, and in many cases it would be one of the most important things a school could spend money on. And how about agreeing we can give schools the ability to make that decision for themselves? Not centralist enough for you?

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  26. k.jones (210 comments) says:

    RRM – dont mind them – they all sit in the day room at their rest home giggling at how naughty their posts are….on their laptops.

    And as for you Paul – dont try and distract me with some neocun hide/douglas voucher/bulk funded fruit loop idea from the university of Idaho.

    whooaa there’s anger mangement for you – i feel better already.

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  27. southtop (251 comments) says:

    A guy applies for a job in a government department. The interviewer asks him a series of questions:
    “Are you allergic to anything?”
    He replies “Yes caffeine, I can’t drink coffee”
    “Have you ever been in the military service?”
    “Yes,” he says, “I was in Iraq for two years.”
    The interviewer says, “That will give you 5 extra points toward employment.”

    Then he asks, “Are disabled in anyway?”
    The applicant says, “Yes, a bomb exploded near me, and I lost both of my testicles.”

    The interviewer grimaces, and then he says. “Okay, you’ve got enough points for me to hire you right now. Our normal hours are 8am to 4pm. You can start tomorrow at 10am and plan on starting at 10am every week day.”

    The applicant is puzzled and asks “If the work hours are from 8am to 4pm, why don’t you want me here until 10.00?”

    “This is a government job,” the interviewer says. “For the first two hours, we just stand around drinking coffee and scratching our balls. No point in you coming in for that.”

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  28. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    Maybe you should rock along to her school and tell her how to do her job properly, Nefarious – you’ve obviously got it all worked out.

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  29. tvb (4,560 comments) says:

    I would lock out the teachers from the first week in December until the end of January if they do not accept a fair wage settlement in line with public sector norms, and cut off their holiday pay for the whole of summer.

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  30. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    LOL – you reckon the teachers are on holiday the whole time the children are?

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  31. s.russell (1,650 comments) says:

    Teaching well IS a skill. And doing it well requires planning, resources, record keeping and a whole lot of stuff for which a computer is extremely useful. Of course you can teach without them, but it’s a lot more work, and results may not be as good.

    But schools do have lots of computers these days, and you can carry your files around on a flash drive. Laptops would be nice, but I think there are higher priorities for limited funds – like improving the skills of the teachers themselves. And there is nothing to stop schools making their own decisions on laptops – it doesn’t have to come directly from Govt.

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  32. Nefarious (533 comments) says:

    Maybe you should address the point you mindless fuckwit.

    What part of the curriculum for a six year old child requires the teacher to use a laptop?

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  33. wreck1080 (4,001 comments) says:

    yeah, lets cut the teachers wages. Even better.

    And, give them a good thrashing while we go about it too.

    You know, outside the teachers, the teachers pupils, I don’t see much support for these roosters.

    You gotta wonder about the intelligence of our teachers actually, I don’t see too much going on there.

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  34. James Stephenson (2,268 comments) says:

    LOL – you reckon the teachers are on holiday the whole time the children are?

    Well Mitre10 did well out of several I know last weekend, and my stepladder and drop cloths are out on loan for a couple of weeks…

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  35. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    Maybe you should address the point you mindless fuckwit.

    What part of the curriculum for a six year old child requires the teacher to use a laptop?

    I would imagine the same part that she could alternatively have all stored on pages of hand-written notes – given a big enough book case full of ring binders, and sufficient time to re-write it all longhand whenever something needs updating or superseding.
    Very few people in any sort of private enterprise work like this any more, surely there is a reason, no?

    Mindless fuckwit yourself.

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  36. Nefarious (533 comments) says:

    Oh yeah, that big bookcase all my primary teachers had with a great big dossier on each student and all kinds of hand written notes.

    So, does this teacher in question digitise all of her pupils work that she has marked? Or does she just type up notes?

    How many pages of hand written notes does said teacher have on times tables and the alphabet?

    You’re all shit RRM, but keep imagining.

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  37. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    Given that I see her every morning when I drop the kid off, and I see all the testing and assessment reports that she produces each term conference time, I find your assertions that I’m all shit and that you know how hard my child’s teacher works better than I do faintly amusing. Do continue!

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  38. Nefarious (533 comments) says:

    I didn’t question her work ethic or input you fucking moron, I questioned her requirement for a laptop computer to do her job.

    Could you ask her for some workbooks on reading comprehension when you drop the little angel off on Monday? I’d suggest a couple of hours a night with them and you’ll be able to pass the national standards within a couple of terms.

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  39. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    At about the point where you said

    How many pages of hand written notes does said teacher have on times tables and the alphabet?

    it became very clear that you know nothing, and you are parrotting meaningless nact party sound bites.

    The Requirement is this: She already donates about ten hours a week of her own time, for free, in order to complete everything that is required. She has to supply own computer in order to create enough efficiencies to even get to this stage.
    In how many other professions would any employee expect to have to supply own PC when he/she turns up to the office on day one?

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  40. Nefarious (533 comments) says:

    Given that you post edited this claim “and I see all the testing and assessment reports that she produces each term conference time,” would you care to detail exactly what these reports entail for a six year old?

    Are there lots of graphs and pie charts and examination results? Can you tell by looking at the reports and statistics how well your child is doing?

    Or did you already know how many times tables they learned? How well they can read?

    Tell me RRM, what knowledge does this wonder teacher impart upon your little one that requires such in depth analysis of their performance over however many terms your child has had this teacher?

    Or are you making shit up again?

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  41. Fot (252 comments) says:

    “LOL – you reckon the teachers are on holiday the whole time the children are?”

    Every single teacher I know is enjoying their holidays.

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  42. k.jones (210 comments) says:

    RRM your patience is outstanding – nay saint like. Big nef has denigrated into trolling now….

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  43. Nefarious (533 comments) says:

    Nact party sound bites, very nice.

    I’m not parrotting a fucking thing. I’m speaking as a parent, a tax payer and someone who is concerned that modern day “teachers” cant impart basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills to eager six year olds without the use of a computer.

    That given the quality of report cards, for a six year old, that I have seen from decile 1 schools I find your claim of piles of handwritten notes, folders of assessments and ten hours of charitable work to be total shit.

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  44. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    Since you asked…

    At her major one last month there were about 15 pages of results from all of the standard in-class testing they do, on things like the extent of their vocabulary, their ability to make sense of what they are reading, their ability to detect things that aren’t right, and how she compares to the rest of the class and to traditional expectations. Teacher was able to answer all of our questions about what various elements of it meant.

    No pretty pie charts, but in short – in most respects my 6yo is reading at about the level normally expected of a 10yo. “The system” appears to be working…

    (None of this is our hero’s new national standards, note, this is just what they already do all of the time. So when Anne Tolley or DPF say teachers are cruising and there needs to be more/better assessment of how kids are doing… yeah, bullshit.)

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  45. Nefarious (533 comments) says:

    I’m sorry but I don’t see how that takes 15 pages for a six year old, year 2, or where it requires a laptop.

    k.jones – how the fuck is this trolling? I asked questions and RRM has answered. It was only in the last response that he gave any substance to what this teacher produces and I still do not believe that it requires the use of a laptop.

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  46. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    Nefarious – up to you what you “believe”.

    I design buildings for a living and lot of people probably believe that can’t be too hard, after all people were doing that long before we had computerised analysis and design packages. Eiffel designed his tower without a computer for example, so why would anyone today need one?

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  47. Nefarious (533 comments) says:

    I’ll tell you one thing RRM, there were a lot less fuck ups, reissues and a lot higher quality of design before they let any old muppet use a computer and be an engineer. And lets be honest, it really is not that hard.

    When you say you “design” buildings does that mean you are an architect, a structural engineer or a draughtsman? Or god forbid an interior designer?

    Either way, teaching six year olds to read and write does not require a computer, it is no quicker to type a report than it is to hand write it.

    What does your teacher do with the information stored on her personal laptop when your child moves class?

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  48. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    Given enough time I am sure a good structural engineer could design a 12-storey concrete tower to ductility=3 on a few sheets of paper without recourse to ETABS or SAP or any of these things that reduce hours of work generating a crude approximation down to a few seconds that generates an accurate answer, but if this was truly better you would think surely everyone would still be doing it that way?

    Anyway you know in your heart that all teachers are lazy dyed-in-the-wool socialists (even the ones that work hard and don’t give a shit about politics) so not going to waste any more time attempting to show you what you don’t want to hear.

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  49. Nefarious (533 comments) says:

    Exactly RRM, a GOOD structural engineer. You didn’t answer my question though.

    Here’s a little hint for you, I didn’t give a fuck about politics until I felt a hand deep in my pocket stealing my money to bribe wasters, greenies and other minority interest groups with an agenda. I didn’t give a fuck about politics until the “state” started encroaching upon nearly every aspect of my life.

    I had some great teachers in my youth who I still have the utmost respect for, so your slur is factually incorrect. Unionised whingers with mouth pieces tied to political parties desperate to cling to power however deserve nothing but disdain.

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  50. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    You mimic the people you spend most of your time with. Like people picking up accents when they move to another country. I tend to think teachers act childishly when it comes to their boss. They work for the population of New Zealand and should not forget it. They know they are noy going to get 4%, so why not drop that and go for a good laptop. The value is roughly the same. Also they would pay no tax on the laptop. I am self employed and haven’t had a pay rise for five years. They are just throwing their weight around because National is the Government. Remember their motto, Bust the National party, Bust the National party.

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  51. Mark (1,502 comments) says:

    Jimbob if you haven’t had a pay rise for five years you need to give your employer and uppercut. I am also self employed and you get good years and not so good years but if you are organised and prepared to work you do not have the same constraints on the upper end of your income but you run the risks of bad years. the risks asociated with self employment so why complain. As for teachers I have yet to find one that is involved with teaching my Kids that is not hard working and committed. So much of the tripe delivered by bolggers in this space about teachers is uninformed band wagon stuff.

    As an industry NZ schools perform consistently well when compared to other OECD countries. High levels in reading and writing and a bit further back in maths but overall fairly good.

    If you listetened to Tolley you would believe most of our teachers are poor performers, inadequate and overpaid.

    One wonders what the outcome would be if we placed our legal professionals, accounting professionals etc under the same international scrutiny whether their results would stack up.

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  52. KandaBongoMan (1 comment) says:

    While its partly entertaining and partly depressing to read most of the comments here about the PPTA and their claim for laptops, very little has been said about the actual provision of the laptops to teachers – various respondents talk about the value of bulk funding, teachers having to provide their own PCs etc….none of which is really relevant to the PPTA’s request.

    So to clarify the facts – since 2003 the government has provided a basic laptop to those eligible teachers who wish to have one – there’s around 45,000 teachers in NZ schools and about 42,000 have taken up that offer. The MoE pays two thirds, and the school pays the other third. (To be eligible teachers have to permanently employed and be employed at 0.5 or greater (in terms of thier employment hours)).

    The school may claim back their contribution from the teacher if they wish (that’s around $5 per week). However about 70% of school boards pay the outstanding third on behalf of their teachers as the see the value of teachers having access to technology. As an example a school with 100 teachers whose BoT wishes to fund the third for them would then be paying around $500 a week (or $25,000 a year) out of their school funds for those 100 laptops.

    The PPTA isn’t asking for laptops for teachers – what they are asking for is the govt to fund the other third that schools are currently being billed by the MoE.

    Presumably if they were successful NZEI would then ask for a similar approach for their members (ie. primary teachers).

    All NZ school (well ….state and state-integrated schools) principals get a laptop fully funded (if they wish to have one). The vast majority take that offer up. Some principals (fortunately a declining number) still think that preparing students for the 21st century with a red biro/slate/banda/ is a good idea.

    But then none of us would want to send our kids to one of those schools (would we…..)

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  53. bc (1,395 comments) says:

    Poor DPF. He hasn’t done any teacher bashing for a couple of days so he clearly is getting withdrawal symptoms.

    Nothing in the news, what to do! Aha, a speech by a politician (i.e. spin). Hmm, link to teachers is pretty weak. Nevermind, I’ll post it anyway, it will bring out the nutters who won’t mind another opportunity to show their ignorance.

    Yawn.

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  54. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    jeez, bc, you just beat me to it!

    I think DPF needs to go into rehab to get over his teacher bashing addiction. I wonder how they would treat it – put him in a classroom for a month?

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  55. tvb (4,560 comments) says:

    I support DPF’s teacher bashing addiction. I would like to see the PPTA crushed once and for all. This could start with a lockout beginning in December and going right through to the end of February. And then negotiate cuts to their pay of 15%. No pay for 3 months.

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  56. bc (1,395 comments) says:

    Well I would dare Key and Tolley to do that – hell, let’s double dare it :)

    Now I know you don’t seem to live in the real world tvb so I know you won’t believe this, but NZ trained teachers are highly sought after overseas. So let the exodus begin. But for those teachers wanting to stay in NewZealand there’s plenty of work for them in the non-teaching sector also. Teachers have excellent communication and organisational skills, are used to multi-tasking, meeting deadlines and working within tight budgets – all highly valued by employers.

    So my prediction would be if Key and Tolley take your “advice” tvb there won’t be a lot of teachers in front of classrooms come February next year. Maybe you don’t have kids tvb, but I do, and I look at what Tolley is doing to the education sector with horror. Part of me thinks, well maybe we get what we deserve, but I worry about the education of my kids and the country they will grow up in too much to stay quiet.

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