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Today’s announcement that the primary teachers have settled is positive for the sector, National’s Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye says.

“However, news that primary principals have rejected their offer is concerning for New Zealand. Despite the forum of parties, there was little change to the primary principals offer from the one they rejected in march. One of the major concerns for primary principals is issues of relativity with what senior teachers or deputy principals will be paid under this settlement.

“Many principals will be supportive that teachers have had additional increases but are asking questions as to why they didn’t secure more favourable terms.

“Education Minister Chris Hipkins personally negotiated these deals so he needs to answer some questions round how he thought a deal would be acceptable when a group of deputy principals and some teachers will earn more than principals.

“Some primary principals have raised serious questions about how we incentivise people to become principals when some teachers are going to earn more money than them. There are real issues of career pathways for principals.

“There are some serious issues around pay scales and the way kāhui ako, communities of learning, works with those pay scales, and these need to be resolved.

“Primary principals will raise issues of parity with secondary principals who are yet to reach an agreement.

“It’s really important all parties get back to the table and try and negotiate this. Delays are frustrating and cost teachers, parents and students.”

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