Teach­ers take strike ac­tion

Stratford Press - - News - By ALICE COWDREY

Teach­ers from around Strat­ford took to the streets to protest dur­ing last Wed­nes­day’s strike ac­tion.

More than 20 teach­ers and their sup­port­ers gath­ered with plac­ards out­side The Well Cafe on the cor­ner of Broad­way and Re­gan Street protest for bet­ter pay, con­di­tions and in­cen­tives to at­tract new teach­ers.

After a short and loud protest, with cars and trucks honk­ing, the teach­ers headed to New Ply­mouth and Ha¯ wera to join other teach­ers do­ing the same. Rat­apiko School prin­ci­pal Lisa Hill says par­ents were sup­port­ive and un­der­stood the rea­sons, which were about get­ting greater learn­ing sup­port for chil­dren.

“The work­load just keeps in­creas­ing and we are see­ing more and more chil­dren with anx­i­ety and trauma — we are not set up to sup­port these chil­dren.

“Teach­ers love their jobs. We love what we so and in­vest so much time in chil­dren. We want the Gov­ern­ment to in­vest in us too.”

She says re­tain­ing teach­ers was a con­cern, as was draw­ing them into the pro­fes­sion. There’s an es­ti­mated 2000 short­age of teach­ers in the next five years, and it was also hard to get re­liev­ers .

“If you are not go­ing to pay teach­ers for what they do, you are not go­ing to get teach­ers at all.”

She has taught for about 25 years and says over the last 12 years con­di­tions had eroded.

“It’s got worse un­der both Na­tional and Labour — it’s not a po­lit­i­cal thing but a pro­fes­sional thing. Enough is enough.”

Teach­ers took strike ac­tion last Wed­nes­day.

Rat­apiko prin­ci­pal Lisa Hill.

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