By John Gerritsen, of RNZ
An ongoing fight between the secondary teachers' union and the Teaching Council over fee increases for teachers' practising certificates is heading to court.
The Post Primary Teachers' Association has applied for a judicial review of the council's decision to renew teachers' practising certificates every year instead of every three years.
In an application filed with the High Court in Wellington, the union said the council consulted teachers about increasing the fees for certificate renewal, and about breaking the fee into three annual instalments.
It said the council never raised the possibility of renewing the certificates themselves annually.
It argued that the council did not have the power to change all teachers' fee payments from triennial to annual.
The application also challenged the council's decision to use part of the fee to pay for leadership training for teachers.
The application asked the court to quash the council's decisions.
It was the latest development in a dispute following the council's announcement earlier this year that it would increase the licence renewal fee from $220 every three years to $157 a year, or $470 over three years. The change would come into effect in February next year.
The PPTA opposed the increase, and in June its members passed a vote of no confidence in the council.
It also told members it would ask the council's chief executive, Lesley Hoskin, and two board members who represented the secondary school sector, to resign. Though the union's president Jack Boyle distanced himself from the resignation demand, saying he did not know why that was included in a letter sent to members.
The union has been lobbying for the council to restrict its activities to teacher registration and teacher competency.
However, the council has positioned itself as the professional voice of the teaching profession, with responsibilities including enhancing the status of teachers and sharing best practice.
The Teaching Council said it would vigourously defend itself against the union's allegations.
However, the council said in order not to prejudice the case and allow the judicial process to have a clear and fair path, it would not comment on the case.