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Friday, July 2

Union needs to get on with bargaining

The PPTA should return to the bargaining table and would not succeed in pressing its claims via the media, the Ministry of Education said today.

“The Ministry has responded to the PPTA’s claims at bargaining,” said Group Manager Education Workforce Fiona McTavish. “We’ve told them that some of their claims are simply unaffordable in the current economic climate; and that, at a time of fiscal constraint, others need a much stronger case.”

“It’s only at the bargaining table, not through the media, that the PPTA will be able to present this case,” she said.

Fiona McTavish said the PPTA had made misleading claims about requirements that teachers be available for duties such as professional development or administrative work during term breaks.

“Boards of trustees already have the power to ask teachers to return to school for a maximum of 10 days during term breaks,” she said. “The Ministry’s claim doesn’t add additional days. It simply seeks to clarify the process, including requiring boards to give reasonable notice to teachers.”

“I’m sure the PPTA is aware of the Government’s call for fiscal constraint across the State sector; and that they’re aware of the nature of other recent State sector settlements,” she said.

“The Ministry is keen to reach a realistic, fair and affordable settlement. We’ve told the PPTA we’re keen to get back to bargaining as soon as they’re ready. I encourage them to come back to the table with realistic expectations,” she said.