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Te Ao Kei Tua

Principals told to get ready for action

24 Feb 2023

Lynda Stuart and Ripeka Lessels have a pretty simple message to primary and area school principals across the motu after they resoundingly rejected the second offer to settle their collective employment agreement.

“Gear Up!”

The results for the vote on the offer was confirmed on Friday, with another overwhelming rejection following the dismissal of the first offer before Christmas.

More importantly, principals also voted that to pursue further action over the next few weeks to tell the government they were less than impressed with the offer and that it did not meet the needs of principals.

“The government needs to listen to principals, to stop saying ‘thank you’ and start showing their thanks for the work that school leaders do in our communities,” said Lynda, who is leading the primary schools negotiating team.

“It was quite clear that our members were far from impressed with the offer, and they voted accordingly.”

Ripeka, who is leading the area schools negotiating team, said the sentiment was equally fervent amongst her colleagues and said it was now up to all principals in Aotearoa New Zealand to show their communities and local MPs how important it was they listened to their concerns.

“We are really expecting our principal colleagues will get involved and explain to their communities why this offer has not even dealt with many of our issues at all,” she said.

“There is a clear action plan that has been agreed amongst our members and the government and Ministry of Education will start seeing us put that into place very shortly.”

Both Lynda and Ripeka said the Principals’ Council would be sending out more information next week to principals on how they can engage in the agreed action and build community support.

“So, it’s important that you talk to your colleagues and Principals’ Council representatives, because the time to take action is now,” they said.

“It’s the only way the government will take notice.”