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Teachers' union takes issue with contracts

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/09/2016

The union representing secondary school teachers says uncertainty over funding means only a small number of graduate teachers are winning permanent jobs.

It says only 15 per cent of those leaving study are gaining the security of a permanent role with many schools opting for fixed-term and part time contracts.

Post Primary Teachers Association president Angela Roberts says the practice may be illegal.

"Schools often don't know what their funding will be from year to year, and sometimes even from term to term, and they are using fixed term contracts as a way to manage funding.

"Sometimes they use fixed-term contracts as a way to illegally "trial" new teachers, she said.

Ms Roberts says it means a number of new teachers have no stable or predictable income which was bad for the profession.

"Teachers in precarious work can't progress in their careers, build strong relationships with their students and peers."

The union, which is holding its annual conference, wants better monitoring of fixed-term contracts and schools to commit to supporting and mentoring new teachers.

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