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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Issue 8. April 1976]

The Government Backtracks

The Government Backtracks

In the dying days of the election campaign the student organisations warned that the National Party was attempting to bribe students with hollow promises and blatantly dishonest propaganda. The National Government's decision on student teachers has now shown that their concern was well-founded.

It is not known if the Government even bothered to consult the Treasury before deciding not to pay new entrants to teachers' colleges the January 3.1% wage adjustment. Certainly, the student and teacher organisations were not consulted. And Gandar's justification for this decision had a rather familiar ring to it.

After a meeting with teacher and student organisations on 15 April. Gandar said that until the anomalies in the conditions of new entrants to teachers' colleges had been resolved, the Government had decided not to let allowances move further away from the standard tertiary bursary, as would occur if the January wage adjustment was applied to new entrants to teachers' colleges. This statement strongly implied that the Government had surreptitiously adopted the defeated Labour Government's long-term policy of moving all tertiary students on to the same level of allowances.

Gandar has also said that he wants the Education Department to resume the discussions on student teachers' allowances from 1977 on, that began during Labour's last couple of months in office. The student and teacher organisations have told him that they want the cut in first year student teachers' pay restored first. And, as the battle lines are being drawn, it appears that the National Government's unilateral decision is letting Gandar in for the same rough ride over student allowances that gave his predecessor, Phil Amos, such a stormy period in office.

Drawing of a man smoking on a bed and girl mending a shirt