Fronting up

October 18th, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

John Hartevelt at Stuff reports:

The secondary teachers’ union says a new National government would strip away its right to strike.

But Education Minister , who will speak at the Post Primary Teachers’ Association annual conference today, says the union is “making it up”.

In a paper to be debated at the union conference in Wellington, the says it believes the Government “is considering introducing legislation in its next term to deny teachers the right to strike in pursuit of a collective agreement”.

Mrs Tolley said the Government had not sought advice about the cost of teacher strikes and it was “nonsense” to suggest it would introduce legislation denying them the right to strike.

I really wonder why Anne is speaking to the PPTA conference, if they are going to just make up lies about what National is planning. It’s an act of considerable bad faith. Good on her for fronting up, but really there has to be a limit to how much bad faith one should tolerate.

Would Helen Clark have spoken to the Exclusive Brethren annual conference?

UPDATE: A representative from the Exclusive Brethren has contacted me, complaining of the comparison to the PPTA. I accept their point that the comparison is unfair, and apologise for comparing them to the PPTA. Whiel I don’t approve of what the EB did in hiring a private detective to follow Clark, they have now knowingly published a false document, as the PPTA is doing.

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43 Responses to “Fronting up”

  1. Linda Reid (385 comments) says:

    Is there any way to hold people or organisations to account for ‘making things up’ about a party’s intentions? Labour do it all the time as well.

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  2. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Well, perhaps if Helen Clarke had been Minister for Exclusive Brethren, she may have.

    Linda, its not hard to make up stuff about National as they stand for nothing, do nothing. Just why are they afraid to show us their vision for the future of NZ, not next month, but for the next decade? Because they don’t have a vision until its handed down to them by the Friedmanites.

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  3. thedavincimode (6,124 comments) says:

    Its a good idea though – a definite vote winner, particularly for families in which both parents work.

    Hopefully the Nats will pick up on the union’s suggestion.

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  4. thedavincimode (6,124 comments) says:

    Jerk, don’t you have some medals to polish?

    Oops, of course you don’t.

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  5. m@tt (535 comments) says:

    “Would Helen Clark have spoken to the Exclusive Brethren annual conference?”

    Interesting that you so often accuse PPTA as being just another arm of the Labour party and when looking for a National party alternative you immediately reach for the Exclusive Brethren. I wonder what lies the Exclusive Brethren will be spreading this election.

    BTW you are absolutely correct about the PPTA and their lies, they really are pathetic when it comes to that kind of thing. Just like the EB.

    [DPF: I chose the EB because they told lies about Helen Clark, as the PPTA has about National.]

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  6. MT_Tinman (2,792 comments) says:

    If the National party stopped teachers pay while they strike there’d be a damned sight less teacher strike action.

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  7. Viking2 (10,723 comments) says:

    Can’t imagine why Tolley bothers to go there. The teachers that matter are never at these things they are at home working on next terms work or having their deserved break.

    Better that she collected their emails and chatted to them direct.

    Still until the Nats. have enough guts to break up the school system and sell it off to enterprising individuals this crap will continue like it has for the lat 70 + years.
    Doing nothing doesn’t change anything. But the Nats. haven’t learnt that YET.

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  8. Nick R (443 comments) says:

    I think it is bleeding obvious why the Minister speaks to the conference. She wins whatever happens. If the conference plays up, she gets called courageous and curries favour with all the teacher union haters out there. If they don’t play up, the message is that she has stared the unions down. And either way she gets to say that she has spoken directly to them because they are an important stakeholder and she is a responsible Minister who takes her portfolio seriously.

    There is no downside, and the worse the union behave, the better as far as she is concerned.

    The idea that there is something brave or magnanimous about fronting up completely escapes me. It’s a complete free hit where she can either play to the base or to placate the union, depending on which audience she wants to play to. No risk or courage required. Just good political sense.

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  9. Manolo (12,626 comments) says:

    Te docility of the minister is incredible. Why does she have to offer the other cheek to the teacher’s socialist mob?

    As per Viking’s comment: the Nats haven’t learnt and never will. Timidity, appeasement and lack of balls are their motto.

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  10. rouppe (852 comments) says:

    Is the fact that I as a parent have to take a days leave when I don’t want to amount to an actual loss that I can pursue in the Small Claims Court?

    Or does the teachers right to strike over-ride my right to make a living?

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  11. leftyliberal (601 comments) says:

    Nick R: Good analysis.

    What I don’t get is why so many teachers are keeping the PPTA going, if they’re as bad as is made out. Do they represent the majority of teachers? One presumes this is something that the Ministry would know? It’s easy to garner support for Anne Tolley versus “the union”. It’s a little harder to garner support for “Minister battles teachers”.

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  12. Mighty_Kites (77 comments) says:

    Hpefully Tolley does, I’d love to see her hauled through the courts for breaking the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act

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  13. sbw (44 comments) says:

    Anne Tolley goes to the PPTA conference as one of the many ways she actually does engage with the sector; despite their ridiculous claims she ignores them. Next time the PPTA bitch and moan about “the Minister not engaging with the sector”, remind them she does despite them making up lies about Government policy.

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  14. Pete George (21,812 comments) says:

    Is there any way to hold people or organisations to account for ‘making things up’ about a party’s intentions?

    I see it frequently. All you can do is call them on it.

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  15. 3-coil (1,184 comments) says:

    For Anne Tolley to front up to a bunch of rabid lying teachers is not that difficult – she put up with the romantic overtures of the old Labour perv (and failed school teacher) Trev Mallard for ages. Now that would have been hard for her to stomach!

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  16. Other_Andy (2,079 comments) says:

    Don’t think all teachers support the NZEI or PPTA.
    I wonder what percentage of teachers are actually members of a union.
    Their membership numbers are not on their website.

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  17. Nookin (2,887 comments) says:

    “Hpefully Tolley does, I’d love to see her hauled through the courts for breaking the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act”
    You hope she speaks at the conference because that will be a breach of BORA? How?

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  18. YesWeDid (1,002 comments) says:

    ‘Would Helen Clark have spoken to the Exclusive Brethren annual conference?’

    Dumb comparison DPF, it would be more like a Labour MP speaking to Federated Farmers, which of course they do.

    [DPF: No. As far as I know Federated Farmers would never ever put together a document for their conference saying "We think Labour are going to do X, when Labour have explicitly ruled out doing X".

    I am not advocating Tolley does not talk to PPTA conferences because the PPTA is a left leaning union. I am advocating that she only talks to conferences where the organisation has honest intentions]

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  19. peterwn (2,935 comments) says:

    NZEI and PPTA delegates are told to receive the Minister’s speech with stony silence – no heckling, no applause, etc. It seems to be a funny ritual – neither the union nor the Minister really wants the speech, but both feel they have to go through with it.

    An important reason why teachers will belong to NZEI/PPTA is for legal protection. A teacher is very vulnerable to assault or worse claims and AFAIK the unions will provide legal support for a teacher in strife. A teacher I know had little time for NZIE but was a member solely for that reason.

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  20. Nookin (2,887 comments) says:

    YesWeDid (532)
    I can remember that Goff spoke to FF this year. He pissed them off by saying something stupid (makes a habit of it, really)

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  21. transmogrifier (518 comments) says:

    @Other_Andy

    In my faculty at school, consisting of around 16 teachers, there are 3 who aren’t part of the union. That strikes me as roughly the average for the school.

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  22. Red Sam (120 comments) says:

    “NZEI and PPTA delegates are told to receive the Minister’s speech with stony silence – no heckling, no applause, etc.”

    Talking of making things up. What garbage. Have any of you actually been to an NZEI or PPTA Annual Conference when the Minister of Education is speaking? It’s interesting that the media do their very best to sensationalise these speeches.

    Teacher unions have very high membership across the public teaching service because members know that our terms and conditions are greater when we bargain collectively. I’d hate to think what my teaching employment agreement would look like if it wasn’t for the hard work of teachers and NZEI over the past 150 years.

    And the bit I detest. The odd teacher on site who isn’t a union member, but who has no problem free loading!

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  23. Red Sam (120 comments) says:

    Stand corrected. NZEI is about 127 years old – and going strong!

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  24. bc (1,251 comments) says:

    Interesting. About a week ago DPF was saying he wanted Anne Tolley and the Government to have a “war” with the teachers unions. In which case, he should be celebrating this shot across the bow, rather than moaning about it.
    After all, isn’t misinformation/propaganda a vital part of warfare?
    Let’s not forget Tolley has made up a few false statistics and quoted tham as fact herself. A “war” of words, you could say.

    [DPF: I did not say I want a war with the teacher unions. Now you are lying. I said that the teacher unions will declare war on a National Govt regardless of what the policies are (except total capitulation to their wishes), so one might as well then have some policies which make winning the war worthwhile to undergo]

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  25. bc (1,251 comments) says:

    MT_Tinman: “If the National party stopped teachers pay while they strike there’d be a damned sight less teacher strike action.”
    Of course teachers got their pay docked if they took a strike day. What made you think otherwise?

    Probably a good reason for teachers to not get too upset if they are ‘banned’ from striking. After all their wages only go back to the ‘enemy’.

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  26. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    m@tt

    Interesting that you so often accuse PPTA as being just another arm of the Labour party

    They are aren’t they. Have they ever supported any other political party ? Have they ever donated underpaid teachers levies to any other political party ?

    DPF

    You said the EB told lies about Clark – are you sure they were lies ?

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  27. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    The best thing about a war with the teachers union would be that they would all wear the same uniform, all chant the same line and as soon as one of them goes down in battle the rest woukld all want to be the same and fall over to join them.

    Then they would all stand around cheering how great it is to all be the same and award eachother a “Participated” certificate for not being tempted to succeed and not failing because it can’t be a fail when they all do it.

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  28. bc (1,251 comments) says:

    burt, I may be wrong – I haven’t followed it that closely – but I’m not aware of the PPTA making any donations to political parties. It would be foolish of them to do this, given that they have to work with the party in power, ie both National and Labour, at some point.
    Have you got any evidence that they have made donations to political parties, or are you just making stuff up?

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  29. bc (1,251 comments) says:

    Fair enough DPF, but I’m sure you would love a good scrap between the government and the teacher unions :)
    I disagree with your statement that the teacher unions will declare war on the National party regardless of their policies. They have been pretty complimentary of the recent announcement of the Government policy of putting social workers into schools for example.
    And I remember that there was no love between the unions and Trevor Mallard when he was the Minister of Education – in fact there was a long and bitter period of industrial action when Labour were the government – so the union hardly gives into Labour.
    So I think you are being a bit simplistic (or maybe just formenting happy mischief!)

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  30. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    bc

    I was making that up – it seems to be acceptable for the PPTA so I though I would sink to their level of failure.

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  31. bc (1,251 comments) says:

    Ok that’s fine burt. As long as we are all aware of the level of credibility of your posts.
    Mind you, your post at 1.11pm sort of gave that away!

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  32. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    bc

    I would however be very surprised if they don’t donate to Labour – they are a union and that is one of the two things unions exist for. The other is to give jobs to people who are otherwise unemployable.

    Lets face it – teachers train for years to manage the disparity of ability in a single class – but their union wants to take the easy option and say they are all the same. Makes administration easy for the people who couldn’t get a job elsewhere.

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  33. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    bc

    That’s union employees I’m saying would have trouble getting a job elsewhere, not teachers.

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  34. leftyliberal (601 comments) says:

    burt: Teachers don’t all get paid the same. They’re paid based on their experience (number of years in the job), education (diploma < bachelors < 4 year degree), managerial responsibility and also based on where they work (some are eligible for additional payments through the voluntary bonding scheme.)

    I'm not sure whether the advancement through the pay scale can be held back due to underperformance or not – I believe it can be within tertiary education, though in that case I suspect that teaching performance is not the primary performance measure anyway (research performance would be).

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  35. bc (1,251 comments) says:

    Yes, leftyliberal – advancement through the pay scale can be held back due to underperformance.
    The idea that pay progression is automatic is a myth that some people here deliberately keep saying in order to be provacative.
    A teacher can also be sacked for underperformance through the competency procedures. The idea that they can’t is another myth some people post here.

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  36. Red Sam (120 comments) says:

    Exactly bc, good on you for setting some myths straight that the teacher bashing brigade constantly like to pedal.

    Automatic annual increments through the pay scale aren’t a given. It is my understanding that principals need to attest or sign for this to occur. That being said, a salary cap exists for classroom teachers and this is dependent on their tertiary qualifications.

    Teachers are also appraised annually, often by the principal or school’s senior leadership team, and are visited in their classrooms by ERO. Teachers in their first or second year often receive two observations per term.

    And the competency clause within the collective agreement, which can lead to termination of employment, is at times used in the teaching service.

    [DPF: What percentage of teachers do not get the annual increment? Is it less than 1% or less than 0.1%?]

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  37. Other_Andy (2,079 comments) says:

    Red Sam (87) Says:

    “Automatic annual increments through the pay scale aren’t a given. It is my understanding that principals need to attest or sign for this to occur. That being said, a salary cap exists for classroom teachers and this is dependent on their tertiary qualifications.”

    In THEORY they aren’t a given. In practical terms annual increments are more or less automatic.

    Teachers are also appraised annually, often by the principal or school’s senior leadership team, and are visited in their classrooms by ERO. Teachers in their first or second year often receive two observations per term.

    On paper yes, they are ‘appraised’ annually. The reality is different, most appraisals are just a formality. School visits by ERO are NOT part of a teacher’s appraisal. And yes, beginning teachers are (usually but not always) assessed more rigorously.

    And the competency clause within the collective agreement, which can lead to termination of employment, is at times used in the teaching service.

    At times is very seldom, only in the most extreme cases

    Using the appraisal system as proof that teachers are paid on performance is flimsy.

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  38. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    Teachers are not all paid the same…..

    All teachers with the same years of experience and the same level of education are paid the same.

    Wow, so a completely useless teacher with a BA and two years experience gets paid the same as a sensational teacher with a BA and two years of experience.

    So, they don’t all get paid the same – they get paid the same as every other teacher with the same experience and qualifications irrespective of how good they are…..

    That makes a massive difference…Here was me thinking that good teachers should be paid a hell of a lot more than they currently are but I failed to take into account that this just wouldn’t be fair on the useless teachers who are also participating.

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  39. polemic (315 comments) says:

    DPF

    [DPF: I chose the EB because they told lies about Helen Clark, as the PPTA has about National.]

    Maybe we have forgotten but what lies ?

    I thought she told lies about them?

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  40. bc (1,251 comments) says:

    burt @4.52pm “Wow, so a completely useless teacher with a BA and two years experience gets paid the same as a sensational teacher with a BA and two years of experience.”
    Good try, burt but no.
    After two years experience both teachers would be applying for full registeration. Currently, they would be provisionally registered.
    The completely useless teacher wouldn’t meet the professional standards requirements to be fully registered, so they would be stuck on a provisional registration and not moved up to the next pay scale.
    If they were also completely useless, i.e. incompetent, it is highly likely they would be on competency procedures.
    Meanwhile, the sensational teacher would surely have been spotted as a rising star. He or she would have no trouble meeting the requirements for full registration, would be up on the next salary scale, and perhaps have a position of responsibilty which would give the teacher a higher salary still.

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  41. bc (1,251 comments) says:

    Other_Andy @ 4.51pm
    “In THEORY they aren’t a given. In practical terms annual increments are more or less automatic.
    In your opinion.

    “On paper yes, they are ‘appraised’ annually. The reality is different, most appraisals are just a formality.”
    Opinion, again.

    “School visits by ERO are NOT part of a teacher’s appraisal.”
    At last, something factual! I knew we would get there eventually.

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  42. bc (1,251 comments) says:

    DPF: What percentage of teachers do not get the annual increment? Is it less than 1% or less than 0.1%?

    Sorry, I don’t know the answer to that. I doubt such statistics would be freely available, because it would be an employment issue between employer and employee.

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  43. Max Call (212 comments) says:

    “An important reason why teachers will belong to NZEI/PPTA is for legal protection. A teacher is very vulnerable to assault or worse claims and AFAIK the unions will provide legal support for a teacher in strife. A teacher I know had little time for NZIE but was a member solely for that reason.”

    Out of the 70 or so teaching staff at the school I am at only about 3 staff do not belong to the PPTA.
    Many for the reason you have given above. Usually this is not the sole reason though – AFAIK with the staff I know.

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