Primary school principals threaten to boycott Ministry of Education if they don't receive a better pay offer

Primary school principals are threatening to boycott the Ministry of Education unless the government reviews its latest pay offer. 

Instead of taking their issues to the streets like the mega-strike of all teachers in May, the principals marched into Ministry offices across the country on Tuesday to deliver letters outlining their demands. 

The principals want a better deal - otherwise, they will boycott the Ministry. 

"That means stopping attending workgroup meetings... not filing reports for the Ministry of Education," says New Zealand Educational Institute President, Lynda Stuart. 

The principals hand-delivered letters in nine regions around the country, calling for pay parity with secondary school principals and a larger salary for principals of smaller schools. 

They say the principal sets the tone of the school, just like a CEO does for a business - but without the salary. 

"And as a CEO we are answerable to a board. We are accountable for human resources and employment," Newton Central School principal, Riki Teteina, told Newshub.

"There are principals that are at breaking point."

Principals say halting ministry work won't affect day to day operations at school, but if nothing is done, there could be more strike action on the cards. 

"Not ruling anything out at this point in time," Stuart said.

The Ministry of Education says it'll now meet with the union this week. 

"We'll need to start thinking about when we can get back around the table to think about how we can reorganize the package to meet some of their needs... it's going to be a bit difficult because we have got a package that we are limited to," says the Ministry.

But the principals say there are no limits to how far they'll go, to get their way.


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