Govt 'doing the best we can' to boost teachers' pay - Peters

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters wants teachers to be realistic about their pay.

NZ Education Institute members have rejected an offer which included a 3 percent salary increase each year until 2021.

"Teachers and principals are saying that they are disappointed by the Government's failure to deliver and they are resolute in their determination," NZEI president Lynda Stuart said.

"The Government keeps saying we have to be patient, and they can't fix everything at once, but the teacher shortage is at crisis point. If you think it's expensive trying to fix a crisis, just wait to see how hard it is to turn around a disaster."

But Mr Peters says the Government is doing its best.

"There's not the acceptance that we can't do everything at once," he told Newshub.

"The reality is this Government is doing all it can in this area… It's unfortunate because this offer is far more substantial than all of the offers they had in the last nine years."

Primary teachers and principals' next moves will be decided at an annual conference in Rotorua this weekend.

A nationwide teachers' strike in mid-August that saw 29,000 educators stop work for 24 hours in protest over pay and working conditions. It was the first strike of its kind in 24 years.