Principals sign open letter pleading for better funding

Principals from throughout New Zealand have signed an open letter to the Government pleading for more funding for school support staff.

More than 500 principals signed the letter, published in a Sunday newspaper, a move described as “unprecedented” by NZEI Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart. 

“This demonstrates the extent of principals’ concern for the teacher aides, librarians, administrators and others who are the lifeblood of schools and yet remain some of the lowest-paid people in New Zealand,” says Ms Stuart, currently on leave from her role as principal at May Road school in Auckland.

“We are extremely concerned about the impact that very low wages and low job security are having on our essential support staff and the follow on effect this has on our students. 

“Support staff are in pay negotiations with the Ministry now and we principals firmly back their calls for a pay rise. But unless schools are funded to cover any pay increase, many of us will feel we have no option other than to cut back on learning resources or cut the hours of teacher aides to afford their higher rates of pay.

“Children shouldn’t lose time with teacher aides, or lose other resources because the Government isn’t funding schools to cover the basics. 

“Analysis of the budget by Victoria University and the NZ Institute of Economic Research shows that real, per child funding for education is dropping by 1.6 per cent this year, and the Government is budgeting for a major decrease over the next few years.”

About Anna Clements

Anna Clements is the School News print and digital editor. She has a background in journalism spanning 25 years across newspapers, magazines and television, and spent six years working as an editorial advisor to a group of ECE centres.

2 comments

  1. I work in the office at a primary school in Grey Lynn.
    I am a widow.
    My house is currently being reclad due to government and local government neglegence.
    I have had to up my mortgage and find alternative accomodation.
    I earn below the living wage. (how is this legal in New Zealand)
    I believe this to be a womans issue.
    I cannot believe if men were being paid below living wage that it would ever be acceptable.

  2. Talk to your union representative about your situation and the living wage politics. Child poverty is a real issue as well. So if you are dropping off the ladder because you cannot get a living wage or even a full time wage and sit below the three quarter mark and living wage income you require each week, which does not mean you are not a wonderful human being, speak to your union representative about it. Its a bit like a tax tide, the ships got to do something, and we all know what a ship maker is. Dont let the education system be yours. If we dont talk, we wont walk, and we wont be able to be ok.

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