Secondary and area school teachers set to strike again

Members of PPTA Te Wehengarua have voted to hold another one day national strike on Wednesday 29 March.

PPTA Te Wehengarua secondary and area school teachers are set to strike again this week on Wednesday 29 March.  

The strike follows the one-day, sector-wide national strike held on March 16, which saw over 50,000 educators take part in industrial action.  

The strike ballot for secondary and area school teachers of PPTA Te Wehengarua was held last Tuesday, with the results released on Friday.  

Read the Term 1 edition of School News HERE.

A teacher holds a sign protesting teachers’ working conditions at the Auckland strikes, March 16 2023. Photo: Naomii Seah

In addition to the one-day national strike on Wednesday 29 March, further industrial action has also been planned for Term Two. In week two, students will have a day off rostered for each year level. In week three, rolling strikes will be held from one end of the country to the other, categorised by region. PPTA Te Wehengarua members have also indicated they will not be attending meetings outside of school hours from Term Two.  

The ban on internal relief cover also continues.  

The vote for futher industrial action was categorised as “overwhelming”, with the union stating that further industrial action was important to keep pressure on the government negotiations.  

“We cannot stand by when the future of secondary education is at stake”, said Chris Abercrombie, acting president of PPTA Te Wehengarua.  

“We need a commitment from the Government to collective agreements that will ensure students have specialist teachers for every subject. We need pay and conditions that will keep teachers in the classroom, attract graduates into teaching and encourage ex teachers to return to the profession,” Abercrombie continued.  

Abercrombie indicated that if that commitment was demonstrated, there was a possibility of calling off the strikes.  

Primary and kindergarten teachers of NZEI Te Riu Roa, however, have ruled out joining their secondary school colleagues on their second national strike.  

In a statement to its members, NZEI Te Riu Roa confirmed that negotiations for the Primary Teacher’s Collective Agreement would continue on Wednesday 29 March – the day of the strikes for PPTA Te Wehengarua members. They stated that “the negotiations team will be pressing for an offer to be made for members to consider.” 

Naomii Seah

Naomii Seah is a writer and journalist from Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. She has been covering education in New Zealand since 2022.
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