The Sunday Panel: Was it all about the pay for the teachers?

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The threat of strike action in the education sector is over, but did the teachers get what they want? After months of industrial action, primary, secondary, and area school teachers have all voted to ratify the government's latest pay offer. PPTA president Jack Boyle says all parties involved have signed an accord to work together on solving the ongoing staffing issue. He says ratification is good, but they now need to work together on encouraging the brightest and best into teaching. The agreement means that primary principals are the only group left in a dispute with the Ministry of Education. The deal sees teachers each get a slice of a $1.4 billion pay package that addresses many of their concerns, but many feel that the deal did not address primary concerns around workload. Speaking on the Sunday Panel with Francesca Rudkin, Canterbury Mornings host Chris Lynch says that the workload issues will likely be an issue again, but teachers would be in danger of losing public sympathy if they kept pushing it. "When the primary school teachers accepted their pay offer, I had an extraordinary number of talkback callers from medical staff saying this was unfair." He says it will create some animosity amongst other industries, and could lead to strikes in other incidents. NZ Gardener Editor Jo McCarroll says the deal clearly does not address concerns around burnout and workload. "If you are just addressing the money and not looking at issues around workload, you're pouring money into a funnel as you will keep needing to bring teachers in."

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