We collated comments and questions from members across New Zealand as part of the collective agreement settlement ratification process in June.
There was a diverse range of topics raised, and some strong themes emerged, particularly around how implementing a new framework will impact existing structures and systems. This will be an ongoing consideration through the design process. The main themes are set out below.
Recognition and Pay
Issues were raised relating to gender, qualifications, sector differences (ie parity), and whether current pay matches the expectations of the role. Certification such as ACET and release time for responsibilities outside the classroom were raised as concerns related to recognition.
Workload and paperwork
How to alleviate rather than exacerbate workload was a key concern.
Classroom career options, specialist roles and specific teaching skills
This theme focussed on career options beyond traditional management roles. There were also questions about supporting existing career roles such as resource teachers. Supporting the teaching of Māori and Pasifika language and culture across the sector was also a frequently raised topic. Recognising the skills required for special and inclusive education also emerged as a strong theme. There were many comments on the subject of specialist support and how this framework would affect such roles. Many expressed a desire to see pathways for specialists such as SENCO, or resource teachers.
Decision making processes
A common question among members was about who would make the decisions about individual’s career pathways. How funding would influence this was also raised.
Assessment and evaluation
Members were concerned about the potential for a performance-based pay system. Many felt that the amount expected of students and teachers is already excessive, and further questioned whether advancement on the new pathway would be tied to outcomes of students’ assessments.
Members raised a mixed range of questions around how different levels of qualification are recognised, and whether qualifications should be seen as defining teacher quality.
Entry, re-entry, progression and exit
How time away to raise a family or study or undertake other education roles could be reflected in career progression was raised numerous times. Related to this is how experience in another
country’s education sector could be reflected in progression.