New Zealanders support teachers' pay increase - poll

The latest Newshub Reid-Research poll has found a clear majority of New Zealanders think teachers should be paid more.

The poll found that 69.1 percent of New Zealanders - that's more than two thirds - said they support teachers getting more pay, while 24.2 percent said no, and the rest didn't know.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins wouldn't rule out putting more money in teachers' pay packets when asked on Tuesday.

It comes after primary and secondary teachers joined forces on May 29 for a "mega-strike",  50,000 marched to demand a better deal from the Government.

The public is showing support for teachers, with one woman telling Newshub: "When a CEO can earn a million in a year and do 'sweet FA', and teachers have responsibility of the children, of course they should get more money."

One interviewee said teachers aren't treated fairly. She said they're "definitely not treated as fairly as they should be".

Another woman said: "They definitely should [get more], they do so much work for the community, and for children, and obviously set up a great foundation for education, so 100 percent."

There is also "a huge amount on their plate", according to a man Newshub spoke to.

It now appears the Education Minister is coming round, after previously saying the current offers of $698 million for primary school teachers and principals and $496 million for secondary teachers are "really good offers".

He told Newshub the poll results were "very interesting" and said the Government also "thinks teachers should be paid more".

Until now, Hipkins has steadfastly refused to put more money on the table for teachers.

When asked on Tuesday if that was still his position, he refused to say: "I'm not commenting, in any way, on what may come out later in the week."

His comments come after Hipkins met with the primary and secondary teachers' unions and the head of the Ministry of Education, Iona Holsted, at a secret location last Thursday for discussions, which led to "progress".

The group issued a statement saying "constructive progress was made" but that no further comment would likely be made until the middle of next week.

Newshub understands an announcement is likely to come on Wednesday, perhaps Thursday.

Critically, the public is on the side of the teachers - the power of parents means everything in this fight.



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