Govt has work to do to fix 'battered and bruised' education system - principal

A representative for primary school principals says the Government needs to offer teachers better working conditions as well as more pay.

New Zealand Principal's Federation president Whetu Cormick told The AM Show he thinks the financial side of the offer is headed in the right direction, but provisions around workload need to be better.

"The main concern is over the lack of time to enable teachers to do the work they have to do and also the support," he said.

Union NZEI Te Riu Roa announced on Monday that members will vote in the first week of Term 4 on whether to hold a national week of one-day strike actions.

Last week, teachers and principals resoundingly rejected the latest Ministry of Education offers, which they say failed to address the need for a significant pay jolt, teachers' workloads or resourcing for children with additional learning needs.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told The AM Show what was offered to teachers was the best the Government could do.

"One of the big things teachers said to us was 'please get rid of national standards', they said 'please invest in teachers' support', we did that," she said.

"We're negotiating, but I have to say that what we've put up we're trying to meet the needs of teachers. We acknowledge there is more to do but we can't do it in one round."

But Mr Cormick said more needs to be done to address working conditions in the sector.

"Our Prime Minister and our Minister of Education and his associates are really trying to rebuild our education system that's been battered and bruised over the last nine years," he said.

"It's not just about the money that teachers want, it's about the time to get the job done and support."

He said pay and working hours need to go up at the same time for any offer to be sufficient.

"In fact the previous offer gave teachers 12 and a half extra minutes per week to do other work that we have to do, currently primary school teachers get one hour, that offer... has in fact been removed as the pay offer has been increased," he said.

"I think there's going to have to be some more robust conversations with the Ministry of Education to get this issue sorted."