Did you know your senior management are entitled to the protection and membership of the PPTA?

The PPTA has failed to adapt to tomorrows schools, with the change over the senior managers took on the role of employers as agents of the BOT. It’s at this stage that the PPTA should have moved to change the membership status of people in these positions.  It would be very difficult for any member to stand up and express themselves at a meeting if members of their senior management are present.  These managers (Principals, Deputy’s and Assistants) would not be disadvantaged as SPANZ would welcome them, most are likely members of both organisations anyway.  It is time for the PPTA to reinvent itself and sort out the identity issues that have been created. Change can only be affected by the grass roots membership.  Hopefully this blog will help bring to light the failings and inform teachers of the real risks before it’s too late for some.

How much do senior management members  contribute to the PPTA’s  coffers and what is the cost of services provided to this group?  I don’t know because it is not broken down in the Balance Sheet.  But it is a very reasonable question for any member to ask.  Would it not be more responsible of the association if these matters were recorded as separate cost centres, and open to membership scrutiny.  What do you think?

Next Blog Post “Just how wrong can the PPTA get it!”


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PPTA Representation Contract, Fair?

When you join the PPTA and pay your fees direct from your salary an implied contract exists that should not require any further refinement.  All the services of the union should be available to you without further fee or additional terms and conditions.  That PPTA should require you to sign a further contract should you find yourself in competency or disciplinary procedures is surprising but that those conditions should be so restrictive of the PPTA member defies belief. This is very much a case of the tail wagging the dog, the Member carrying all the risk and the NZPPTA in control.  Not a very secure position for the person being represented.  All would be fine if the PPTA showed they had the fortitude to see these confrontations through.  Unfortunately that has not been the experience of my informants.

The contract gives all the power to the PPTA and requires that the member use them as their sole representative. It makes no undertaking that the PPTA will provide any measurable level of support or even see the crisis through (more on this in the next Blog).  In fact it doesn’t even say that the member will be kept informed of their actions or even be involved with being able to give direction. You can view a copy of this contract at http://ppta.blogtown.co.nz/files/2011/06/PPTA-Authorisation-Contract.pdf I would strongly recommend any Teacher needing support get legal advice on this agreement before accepting the PPTA’s assistance on those terms. Not much of a deal when the member will probably find themselves up against the Principal (most likely a PPTA member and possibly better connected), The STA (School Trustees Association), The Employers Association, The BOT’s Lawyers and if they fight back you can also probably also add the PPTA and SPANZ if the Principal is a member.  A very stacked deck in favour of the senior management.

Next Blog Post “Did you know your senior management are entitled to the protection and membership of the PPTA”

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About this Blog

I have set up this Blog to provide a forum examining the PPTA (Post Primary Teachers Association) and its relevance and effectiveness as an advocacy service for the bulk of its members in the todays “modern” schools. Most teachers consider their membership as an insurance policy should they ever find themselves in conflict. But from the feedback I have received this is giving a false sense of security and the PPTA often only offers one solution the “exit Package”. Regardless of whether this is the members wish or not. They seem unwilling to enter into any battle that would benefit teachers as a whole and are quite happy to fight individual fires as they occur without the benefit of precedents.

In this the PPTA could be seen as condoning workplace bullying of teachers by the senior management or BOT’s in schools. It could be that the organisation has become so conflicted in having Principals, their deputies and assistants as members that they are no longer able to identify who they represent in times of disagreement. Senior manager in schools have choices of the PPTA and SPANZ (many are members of both) and both parties are signatories to their collective agreement.

I know of no other union that represents in this way both the employers representatives and the staff. It is clear that teachers are subsidising their management and from the unions inaction and unwillingness to challenge such issues of senior bullying of subordinates there is not enough left in the pot to support the bulk of the members in their time of need.

The bulk of the membership is classroom teachers and this is the source of the most of the PPTA’s income (in the vicinity of NZ$9,000,000 per year).

In this blog I will be publishing excerpts from member experiences, comments and the results of investigations undertaken by myself and other. Please keep all comment relevant and let’s see we go.

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