NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) will both ballot members next week on whether to take joint strike action on 29 May.
Primary teacher and principal members of NZEI Te Riu Roa will vote at a series of paid union meetings from 6-10 May and secondary school members of PPTA will vote in an online ballot throughout the same period.
PPTA president Jack Boyle says, “2019 is the year the government needs to deliver for children, for teachers and for education. For New Zealand to be the ‘best place to be a child’ we need a well-supported, well-resourced and trusted teaching profession in all our schools and communities.
“The offers we have received from the government do not address the issues our profession faces. We wonder what it will take for the government to listen to us, acknowledge the truth, and act?”
NZEI Te Riu Roa’s president Lynda Stewart says she is disappointed the government failed to improve their offer to primary teachers and principals in negotiations earlier this week, but that the prospect of a joint strike with secondary teachers will give primary teachers and principals strength.
“We really hoped we could bring something new from the government back to members next week, but they have made it clear they aren’t willing to move on the overall cost of the package our members rejected last term. We’ll be bringing this disappointing news back to members next week and asking them whether they want to go on strike with our secondary colleagues.”
Jack Boyle says, “Our prime minister, Jacinda Ardern knows the situation in primary and secondary schools isn’t business as usual. She knows we want to be working with students in our classrooms. She knows we don’t want to be in the position where we have to take industrial action.”
“We urge her to do the right thing and come up with the funding so that our students continue to have the educational opportunities that they need and deserve, with great, well-trained and well supported teachers to provide those opportunities.”
Lynda Stuart says, “It’s time for the government to prioritise giving teachers time to teach and to lead. To address the education crisis we need to ensure teaching is a viable long-term career choice. If we’re going to make Aotearoa the best place in the world to raise a child, the government needs to find a solution – now.”
The outcome of both unions’ ballots will be announced early in the week of 13 May.