Will area school teachers join the strikes?

Area school teachers are set to vote on industrial action after months of stalled negotiations with the Ministry of Education.

Today (May 1 2023), marks the last day for area school teachers to vote on potential strike action.  

According to NZEI Te Riu Roa, should the vote go through, industrial action from area school teachers could include rolling strikes from Tuesday 9 May to Thursday 11 May, a relief teacher work ban, and bans on meetings outside of school hours.  

The ballot was opened on Thursday 27 April, and will close Monday 1 May at 5 pm. NZEI Te Riu Roa has indicated that negotiations with the Ministry of Education will take place at the end of this week. The union has indicated that if an adequate offer is made, any strike action agreed on by area teachers may be called off.  

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

If area school teachers vote to strike, they will join primary and area school principals, who are currently undertaking work bans. Beginning from the Monday 24 April, the first day of Term 2, primary and area school principals have stopped work on Ministry of Education initiatives such as the curriculum refresh and collecting and collating data. There is also a ban on overtime (bar board meetings).  

For area school teachers, the industrial action vote comes after months of stalled negotiations regarding their collective agreement. The last offer from the Ministry of Education for area school teachers came back in December 2022.  

Naomii Seah

Naomii Seah is a writer and journalist from Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. She enjoys crochet, painting, and a coffee or two at the beach. Her work can be found at The Spinoff, The Pantograph Punch, Stuff, and of course, School News NZ.
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