The New Zealand Herald

Poll backs teachers’ pay claims

- Simon Collins

More than 80 per cent of New Zealanders support pay rises for teachers, a new survey shows.

The survey of 1008 people from Research Now’s online panel, commission­ed by the teacher unions, shows that 83 per cent of people agree primary and secondary teachers “need a pay rise”.

Asked to nominate how big the rise should be, 55 per cent of the sample suggested at least 10 per cent.

The Post Primary Teachers Associatio­n produced figures last year to claim a 14.5 per cent pay rise, and the NZ Educationa­l Institute, representi­ng primary and preschool teachers, is considerin­g a claim “in the order of 16 per cent over two years”.

Both unions are planning stopwork meetings to back up their pay claims this year.

NZEI president Lynda Stuart said the survey showed that the unions “have the public mandate to take action”.

The survey found support for pay increases regardless of whether people had children at school — 81 per cent among parents of primary school children, 83-85 per cent among parents of secondary school children, and 83 per cent among those with no children at school.

Of those supporting an increase, 61 per cent favoured a “moderate” rise, 30 per cent a “major” one and 8 per cent a “minor” one.

Asked to nominate a percentage, 55 per cent of the total sample suggested 10 per cent or more, 29 per cent less than 10 per cent, and 17 per cent did not favour a pay rise at all.

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