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Primary victory

NEW ZEALAND Primary teachers have finally won their battle for pay parity with secondary teachers. After 15 months of tough negotiations and two strikes, the primary teachers have won a deal which will give pay rises of up to 30 per cent and which will cost the Government an extra $90 million a year. The increases are to be phased in over three years.

However, the parity, based on 1995 secondary rates, may be shortlived. It has not been incorporated into a unified pay scale for primary and secondary teachers - the subject of a separate working party - and secondary teachers have signalled they will push for a substantial pay rise when they enter negotiations at the end of the year.

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