Primary teachers’ strikes to start on Monday
Primary teachers will go ahead with rolling regional strikes next week after teachers rejected the latest Government pay offer worth $700 million over three years.
The NZ Educational Institute (NZEI) said facilitation under the Employment Relations Authority ended on Thursday and the strike meetings will consider new offers from the ministry and recommendations from the facilitator.
Striking primary principals and teachers will be rallying on more than 100 street corners in Auckland at 7.30am on Monday, and having mass meetings to consider the current situation later that day.
The ministry made a new offer to teachers on Thursday, but did not move on its earlier offer to raise pay scales by 3 per cent a year for three years.
Its latest offer included a new top step and the partial removal of a cap on qualifications for some teachers from 2020.
NZEI president Lynda Stuart (pictured) said the offers did not address union claims for lower class sizes and more professional time.
“The question is: will this address the crisis in education and the teacher shortage? What we asked for had children at the heart — for example more time to teach and smaller class sizes. This is something that our members now need to decide,” she said.
School communities were notified informally several weeks ago of the strike dates, but formal strike notices were issued late on Thursday night for Auckland.
Notices for other regions of the country that strike later next week were to be issued yesterday and on Monday.
Stuart said members would carefully consider both the offer and any recommendations made by the facilitator at mass meetings being held during the strikes.
New elements of the most recent offer for teachers include a top pay step for teachers with degrees plus professional teaching qualifications from 2020, and removal of the qualifications cap on progression for teachers without degrees from 2020.
Strikes will take place in Auckland on Monday, the rest of the North Island (except Wellington) on Tuesday, Christchurch on Wednesday, the rest of the South Island on Thursday, and Wellington on Friday.