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Teachers and principals reject Ministry of Education offers

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Primary teachers and principals have resoundingly rejected the Government’s latest collective agreement offers.

The secret online ballot for NZEI Te Riu Roa members closed on Tuesday night.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart said members had sent a clear message that the offers did not address concerns about the growing teacher shortage, time to teach and support for children with additional learning needs.

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

"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. In the meantime, our students’ learning suffers when we can’t even find relievers to cover for sick teachers."

"Now we have the ballot result, the next step is in members' hands. They are discussing this online and in conversations in their workplaces.

"At the NZEI Te Riu Roa Annual Conference at the end of this week, representatives will consider the compiled feedback about potential collective action and will make a recommendation about what we do in Term 4. If further strike action is recommended, all affected members will vote on this early next term."

The revised offer rejected by primary teachers included:

- 3-year term from date of settlement

- Increase base salary scale by 3% each year from date of settlement.

- No provisions for reducing workloads or class sizes

- No committed funding for supporting children with additional learning needs, such as funding a Special Education Needs Coodinator role (SENCO) in each school.

(The Acting Minister of Education released a Draft Disability and Learning Support Plan last week which proposed an in-school Learning Support Coordinator role, but funding is not yet committed.)

The revised offer rejected by primary principals included:

- 3-year term from date of settlement

- Increase base salary scale by 3% each year from date of settlement for principals of schools with more than 100 students.

- Increase base salary scale by 4.5%+4.5%+4.4% a year from date of settlement for principals of schools with fewer than 100 students.

- No provisions to address workload

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