Tens of thousands of principals and teachers working in primary, area schools and kindergartens up and down Aotearoa will attend dozens of union meetings over the next three weeks to discuss offers from the Government to settle their collective employment agreements.
NZEI Te Riu Roa members will vote on the offers and what action to take next if they are rejected.
“Like most working people, the rising cost of living is really impacting educators,” NZEI Te Riu Roa President Liam Rutherford said.
Unfortunately the Government’s pay offers don’t match the steep rise in members’ cost of living. And they do little to address teachers’ desire to meet children’s learning needs better by reducing class sizes and getting more investment in learning support.
Mr Rutherford said that educators were hoping the Government would listen to their call for more time for educators to do their jobs more effectively.
“But, disappointingly, very few of these issues were even included in the offers,” he said. “It will now be up to members to decide if the offers match up to the critical need to maintain and attract a quality teaching workforce.”
Mr Rutherford said that educators had been on the frontline of the pandemic for three years and wanted to see more than words from Government.
“We’re tired, but my feeling is that members want to tell the Government that we expect them to make investing in the people at the heart of teaching and learning a top priority.”
Paid union meetings for area and primary school teachers will be held from 14–25 November; meetings for area and primary principals are from 22–24 November; meetings for kindergarten teachers will be held from 21 November-1 December.