Teacher 'mega strike' looking more likely

The likelihood of joint strike action between New Zealand's primary and secondary school teachers is looking more likely, after negotiators for the New Zealand Education Institute Te Riu Roa (NZEI) expressed disappointment at the Government's latest offer.

"The negotiation teams made it clear to the Ministry that the new offers are disappointing," Tute Porter-Samuels, a member of the primary teachers' negotiation team, said in a statement on Friday.

"They do not adequately address the urgent need for more time and more pay so that we can attract and retain great teachers."

NZEI members will meet and discuss the offers at nationwide meetings throughout the week of March 18.

If the offer is rejected, they will vote on whether to join forces with secondary school teachers in a mega-strike on April 3.

The new offers are similar to what the Ministry offered in November 2018, except teachers will get either:

An extra half day of classroom release time per term,

Or a new maximum pay for qualified teachers, to be brought in in 2020 - a year earlier than the previous offer.

"Under the new offer, all 2,000 primary principals would receive the pay offer made to them in November which would see them receive at least a 3 percent pay rise each year for three years,"said Ellen MacGregor-Reid from the Ministry of Education.

 "In addition, for principals of smaller schools with 100 children or less, under the new offer will benefit from 10 hours per term additional classroom release time."

Ms Porter-Samuels expressed disappointment at how little the Ministry was willing to move.

"Principal and teacher members will consider these offers very carefully," said Ms Porter-Samuels. 



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