Chris Hipkins invites teachers' unions to talks

The Education Minister has invited the teachers' unions to a meeting next week, looking to break a deadlock that's seen teachers take to the streets in protest.

Thousands marched across the country on Wednesday, protesting lack of pay and deteriorating conditions in the sector. It was the first time teachers from both primary and secondary schools had gone on strike together.

"I have invited the leaderships of the NZEI and PPTA unions to meet with me and the Ministry of Education next week," Chris Hipkins said late on Friday night.

"The issues being raised by teachers are many, varied and complex. The Government is committed to taking action to address those concerns progressively over time."

He's set down talks for June 6 to "focus on how we can do this".

"We will make no further comment until after the parties have met."

The Council of Trade Unions welcomed Hipkins' olive branch, president Richard Wagstaff saying the dispute "can only be settled with further dialogue and the Minister has shown he is willing to assist directly in this process".

There was little extra funding in Thursday's Budget for teachers, who have promised further strikes if their demands aren't met.

Hipkins has previously said there's no extra money available.



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