Last year the association’s annual conference voted to empower PPTA’s executive to develop a range of responses to the Education Amendment Bill (no.2) which aims to replace the New Zealand Teachers Council with a government appointed body.
These included giving PPTA’s executive the power to determine the extent to which the association would co-operate with the new body and putting proposals for actions against the new council to a teacher vote.
With the passing of the bill last night it was time for battle lines to be drawn, Roberts said.
“We are still considering our options but I can assure you teachers will not be taking this lying down,” she said.
Until this point the association had tried in good faith to engage in a democratic process, trying to save teachers’ professional body.
“Six months ago more than a dozen credible teachers stood for and were elected by their peers to represent them on the teachers council. This is the last time that will happen,” she said.
It was an echo of the government takeover of university councils, Roberts said.
“Democracy appears to be so inconvenient for this government. The only way they can control and corporatize education is to legislate. They are telling the profession and the public to just trust the government.
“Don’t tell me to trust you when you can’t even trust us to represent ourselves,” she said.
More than a thousand submissions against the bill by secondary teachers alone were ignored, Roberts said.
The overwhelming message across the country from the community and the profession had been completely snubbed, she said.