12 August 2021
Secretary of Education Danielle Cochrane today said she understands the frustrations being expressed by secondary school teachers regarding salary discussions. Her comments follow a newsletter from Tereora College staff and Parent Teacher Association that was sent home with students on Tuesday 10 August stating that from Wednesday 11 August “the focus of Tereora staff will be on core learning delivery through subject classes.”
“Tereora College has chosen to reduce school hours by 30 minutes each day, sending pupils home at 2.30pm rather 3pm.”
Further the newsletter claims that they will be putting on hold “support through the Anau system including, after school tutorials, Anau class support and extra-curricular activities.
By far the biggest school in the country, there are currently 708 pupils and 56 staff members at Tereora College, a reasonable percentage of the total number of 4,071 students and 419 staff members employed by the Ministry of Education country wide.
Ms Cochrane says negotiations with Tereora staff regarding salaries have been on-going for some time and have not yet concluded. However considerable progress has been made in this space with priority given to equity, recognition, and development across the collective teaching workforce. A new remuneration policy which recognizes teachers experience and development has been drafted and will form the basis for individual adjustments.
“I am optimistic that we will have a credible outcome by the end of this month, that collectively considers all Cook Islands teachers who do meet the professional standards and qualification requirements of the teacher position description. It is understandable that teachers are focused on their particular remuneration, government however, has to be involved through a “whole of government” approach to pay scales and remuneration.”
“Government recognizes the value of teachers in our society, they are critical to the development of our youth and underpin the principles of lifelong learning. The Ministry will continue to work with key agencies and schools to reach an amicable and supported resolution.”