'Super strike' not off the table after primary teachers reject new offer

Primary school teachers are not ruling out teaming up with secondary schools for a mega strike, after the Ministry of Education's third offer was rejected by primary school teachers on Tuesday night.

After first taking nationwide strike action in August and then participating in rolling strikes across the country in November, primary school teachers and principals might strike again, according to the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI).

That's because primary schools teachers have rejected a third offer from the Ministry of Education.

The $698 million package is $129 million more than the previous offer, and the Ministry says it would have meant a pay rise of between $9500 and $11,000 for most teachers by 2020.

But NZEI President Lynda Stuart says although there has been movement around pay, that's only part of the equation.

"The offer did not address those issues around class size or giving teachers the time to work with individual students, the time for planning and assessment," she said.

NZEI, which represents primary teachers, will seek further negotiations immediately, and wants to be in a position to put a new offer to members by term one next year.

But they are also not ruling out a super strike with their secondary school colleagues.

"Nothing is off the table," said Ms Stuart.

Minister of Education Chris Hipkins said he's happy to return to the negotiations as soon as tomorrow.

"We're happy to work right the way through the summer break as well to make sure we don't have further strike action next year," he said.

Parents that Newshub spoke to are also generally supportive of teachers, with one saying they do "an amazing job under resourced".

"I come from a family of teachers, even though I'm not one myself, absolutely in support of them for sure," another said.


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