Teachers not ruling out third strike to fix education 'crisis' - NZEI

Primary teachers and principals have gone on strike across Auckland, leaving thousands of children without their education on Monday.

And it's just the beginning. Today is the first day in a week of rolling strikes across the country, with a different region striking every day.

New Zealand Educational Institute president Lynda Stuart joined The AM Show on Monday - and wouldn't rule out another strike if necessary to fix the "crisis" in education.

"I'm hoping we won't need to," she told Garner.

"We really want to resolve these issues, and we'll be considering this offer very very deliberately."

The latest pay offer would have given teachers an approximate $10,000 pay rise, bringing the average salary up to about the $85,000 mark.

Ms Stuart says the decision to reject this and go on strike "went to the eleventh hour".

"Notices had to go out by 4pm on Friday. We had given the Ministry that timeframe well before we went into facilitation," she says.

"We actually went into an extra day of facilitation as well, because we wanted to try to resolve this.

"At the end of the day we believed that we didn't have the mandate to call it off. What we do have though is the opportunity to really really consider this offer in a deliberate way."

At a press conference on Friday, Education Minister Hipkins says he was disappointed with teachers' decision to strike.

"Well the Government has done absolutely everything we can to avoid this strike, I'm disappointed the union are going ahead with the strike anyway.

"There aren't many work forces in New Zealand at the moment that would be taking strike over a ten thousand dollar pay rise because if they think that the Government is going to continue to offer more and more and more money, then they're out of luck."

But Ms Stuart didn't believe this offer was significantly different enough from the last offer to revoke the strikes.

"It doesn't address those issues around class size or time," she says.

"Our teachers have been crying out for time. They've been crying out for support."


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