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Teachers are hitting out at school principals who strike up corporate-style pay deals.
Robin Duff, outgoing president of secondary school teacher union the Post Primary Teacher Association, yesterday attacked the idea of principals as chief executive officers.
Mr Duff told the union's annual conference that some principals sought enhanced salary packages, complete with cars, clothing allowances and life membership to upmarket airline lounge Koru Club.
"Don't say it wouldn't happen here because it has," he said.
Mr Duff said examples included a $10,600 rebate on the rental of the principal's residence and $10,500 for acting as a support officer for international fee-paying students.
But Peter Gall, president of the New Zealand Secondary Principals Association, told the Herald principals' total salary packages were publicly disclosed in annual accounts and enhancements needed to be signed off by the Ministry of Education.
"There are no secrets with principals' salaries," said Mr Gall.
He said the vast majority of principals did not get extra payments and if they did, it was often linked to responsibilities such as running boarding hostels or hosting international students.
Under the Secondary Principals' Collective Agreement, negotiated between the PPTA and the Ministry of Education, the pay grade starts at $71,274 a year for a school with up to 50 students to $138,181 a year for a school with a roll of 2401 students or more. Various other payments, including a low decile rate, are added.
A row between Education Minister Chris Carter and Rangitoto College's David Hodge erupted this year when the minister accused the head of the country's biggest school of getting $18,000 extra from the Auckland school's operations grant on top of a $185,000 salary.
Mr Hodge said at the time the board of trustees-approved payment for "additional duties" included overseas trips to scout for foreign students, who brings in $2.5 million to the school each year.
The Secondary Principals Association registered a union this year.
Mr Duff said the PPTA opposed the move.
"It cannot possibly be in the interests of students, teachers or principals to divide and weaken the sector in this way."
* A $10,600 rebate on the rental of the principal's residence
* $10,500 for acting as a support officer for international fee paying students
* A car reimbursement of $1000 a month, paid for 10 months of the year
* Almost $6000 of board of trustees approved extra pay