PPTA and secondary school teachers lodge claim with Employment Relations Authority

Part-time secondary school teachers are the latest to launch pay equity action.

Part-time secondary school teachers are the latest to launch pay equity action.

Part-time secondary schools teachers and the PPTA are lodging a claim asking for equal pay for part-time teachers. 

Under the current collective agreement part-time teachers do not get the same guaranteed non-contact hours as their full-time colleagues. 

It's the latest claim to be made in an effort to gain pay equity in female-dominated sectors, and follows a win for caregivers in the aged care sector. Fellow union NZEI is currently in mediation with the Ministry of Education on behalf of education support workers. It was to be lodged at midday on Monday.

Jack Boyle, president of the PPTA.

Jack Boyle, president of the PPTA.

There are about 3380 teachers working part-time in New Zealand.  

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In the case of Lisa Hargreaves, one of the four teachers taking the action with the support of the Post Primary Teachers' Association, it meant while she was teaching 16 hours a week, she had a non-contact workload of about two to four hours for each of the four classes she took, which she essentially was not getting paid for.

Her salary did cover things done outside the classroom, but was not enough to fairly reimburse her for the time she spent marking and doing other administration. 

 Students are usually timetabled to attend classes for 25 hours a week. A full-time teacher teaches 20 hours in the classroom and is paid five hours in salary for non-contact time in a school week. 

The Havelock North High School teacher said she was only paid for the hours she was teaching, so many hours of work went unpaid. 

This had a financial and emotional impact, Hargreaves said. 

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"It doesn't feel very good because you feel like you're valued less at times, even though schools don't intend to do that. But you feel it and you're torn between being there for students ... and not feeling like you're being treated as a second-class citizen." 

PPTA president Jack Boyle said the union had negotiated with the ministry to get paid non-contact hours for full-time teachers in the early 2000s.

He said the part-time workforce had become more predominantly female. While about 57 per cent of teachers were women, 75 per cent of the part-time workforce was female.

The Ministry of Education's deputy secretary of Early Learning and Student Achievement Ellen MacGregor-Reid said non-contact time for part-time teachers was identified as a potential gender issue in 2008, and subsequent agreements between the PPTA and ministry had not included a fix for the issue. 

Secondary school teachers employed for 18 hours or more had to get non-contact time within the weekly timetalbe, and all part-time teachers were given an extra 11 per cent payment based on their total hours employed. 

"That is to recognise their participation in activities of the school which are outside of classroom teaching as required by the principal," MacGregor-Reid said.

Secondary school teachers were paid an average salary, including allowances, of $77,474 a year.

 - Stuff


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