2 March 2023
Around 30,000 principals and teachers from schools and kindergartens across Aotearoa will begin a ballot for industrial action tomorrow (Saturday) after they overwhelmingly rejected offers from the Ministry of Education to settle their collective employment agreements.
Area school teachers also attended the meetings and will take part in a ballot for strike action. The Ministry of Education has not provided a second offer after area school teachers rejected an initial offer in November last year.
Primary and area school principals rejected their second offers earlier in February and will also participate in the ballot. If members choose to strike, there will be a full, one day strike on Thursday 16 March.
“The depth of feeling amongst members was incredibly strong across all parts of the sector,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa president Mark Potter, who attended a number of meetings in person.
“The offer did little to address the concerns we have as a sector, and did not go far enough in ensuring that teaching is a valued and attractive profession.”
Mr Potter said the rising cost of living remained an issue for many in New Zealand, not just for educators, but the pay offer was just part of why educators are rejecting the proposals from the Ministry of Education.
He said the important concerns remained around the need for a significant improvement in staffing and funding of schools and kindergartens.
Members would continue to press the government on the issues beyond the settlement of their agreements.
“This rejection of the offers and the move to a strike ballot is just the first step,” he added. “I’m sure our members will be making their voices and opinions heard from now until the General Election.”
Notes to editors:
The strike ballots are being conducted by an independent organisation.
The outcome of the ballots will be announced on Friday 10 March.
If members vote to strike this will take place on Thursday 16 March.
2 March 2023
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