Members of the Secondary School Teacher's Union say they feel a sense of hope after hearing what the Education Minister had to say at the NZ Post Primary Teachers Association AGM yesterday.

Minister Chris Hipkins addressed union members and acknowledged all their concerns and calls on the PPTA to work together with the government.

“We won't fix this in two years. We're going to need to work together for a longer time than that to achieve the real and meaningful change that we are all committed to.”

Although PPTA members had some misgivings about Hipkins, Otago PPTA spokesperson Ruth Hunter says they were wooed when he acknowledged the plight of many tamariki.

“I was really proud hearing the minister address poverty because that's the conversation that’s been missing for the last nine years or so to really step up and address the issue for our communities so that we can all work together to have a great Aotearoa for all our children.”

Kaumatua of the PPTA Henare Piripi Hutana says he was pleased with the minister's speech because it was a different view from National's.

“He kōrero tika, he kōrero rerekē mai i tērā kāwanatanga, he kōrero tautoko i ngā pouako ki roto i ngā kura katoa - pai te kōrero a te minita.”

But National's education spokesperson Nikki Kaye says, when national was in government there were different circumstances.

“We had a very different situation to this government - we had a global financial recession, the Canterbury earthquakes and they have billions of dollars more. In the most difficult times, we increased salaries by about 17%.”

Despite that Hipkins says there are good signs the PPTA will work with the government.

“The PPTA have that they're rejecting the current government offer, they haven't indicated that they're considering strike action at this point, I think they are committed to working with us, as we are committed to working with them.”

Only time will show if the New Zealand Education Institute will take industrial action or work with the government.

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