Teachers reject Govt pay offer
Primary and intermediate teachers and principals have “overwhelmingly” rejected the Government’s latest pay offer, saying it will not fix the industry’s staffing “crisis”.
About 30,000 New Zealand Educational Institute Te Riu Roa (NZEI) union members voted on what was the third round of offers, in a secret online ballot that closed on Tuesday night.
NZEI president Lynda Stuart said the message from members was that the offers did not do enough to fix the crisis in teacher recruitment and retention.
“The big concern for members was that the offers had nothing that would give teachers more time to teach or principals time to lead.”
The move comes after members rejected two previous offers, and began strike action.
“From the beginning of this process we’ve been clear that to attract and retain teachers we need to be paid fairly and have the time and support to ensure every child gets the best possible education,” Lynda said.
“While the latest offer for teachers included a total salary increase of approximately $9500-$11,000 over three years, it failed to address the important issues of time and class size, which underpin the crisis in education.
“Disappointingly, we end this year without the necessary movement from the Government, and with still not enough to meet the needs of children, schools and teachers.”
Lynda said the union had informed the Ministry of Education and Education Minister Chris Hipkins of the outcome of the ballots, and would seek further negotiations immediately, requesting a new offer by early in term 1 next year to bring back to members.
The ministry’s education secretary, Iona Holsted, said despite the rejection they remained committed to continuing bargaining in good faith and minimising any further disruption for students’ learning and parents.
“It is only by negotiation we will settle this long-running dispute,” she said.
“We now invite NZEI to return to the bargaining table to discuss options for settling the collective to meet their members’ priorities within the $698 million package.”
Iona said the $698m package, which followed bargaining in November, had been described by the Employment Relations Authority as “handsome and competitive”.
Iona said the Government was addressing workload concerns by spending an extra $500m for learning support, providing $40m to boost teacher supply in the short to medium term, developing a long-term Education Workforce strategy, work to reduce administration tasks, and rolling out a Well-being Framework.
Te Awamutu’s Pop ‘n’ Good Bike Park opening party hosted by Waipa¯ District Council in March this year is up for an award.
The community event has been named one of six finalists in the Best Local Government event in the New Zealand Event Association awards.
It is up against Hutt City’s Carnival of Lights, the Light up Bike Spectacle in Wha¯nganui, Paint the Town Ed in Dunedin, Sort It Careers Expo in Manawatu¯ and Snow in the Park in Auckland.
The opening party in Te Awamutu attracted thousands of people, including 1000 young children on bikes celebrating the opening of the much-anticipated park. Waipa¯ District Council staff organised the event and also supported it with close to 30 volunteers.
The event organisation was led by council’s event and marketing adviser Amber Diprose.
Winners in the New Zealand Event Association awards will be announced in March next year.
Te Awamutu’s Pop ‘n’ Good Bike Park opening party attracted thousands of people, including 1000 young children on bikes celebrating the opening of the much-anticipated park.