As the NZEI (NZ Primary Teacher Union) rep for RVS, I would like to take this opportunity to outline the current status of negotiations between NZEI and the Ministry of Education.
Last term, all union members attended meetings around the country to hear how the latest NZEI negotiations were going.
Our claims have centered around addressing workload, recruitment and retention of teachers and salary.
Unfortunately, the Ministry’s response has been counter-productive.
It is highly likely that teachers will be striking for a full day on Wednesday 15th (still to be confirmed).
The decision to strike is historic. Primary teachers have not taken industrial action in New Zealand since 1994 when we went on strike for pay parity. However, now is the time! It’s time to deal to teacher shortages and increase investment in education to support children with additional learning needs and to give us time to teach and time to lead.
The reality is that teacher recruitment/training is down by 40%. Of those who complete their training, 40% of teachers are leaving the profession within the first five years. Unmanageable workload and under resourcing are being cited nationally as the main issues.
I know I speak on behalf of all the staff when I say that this decision tears at the heart of our commitment to the children. However, it is this same ‘heart’ that has left us so vulnerable to the onslaught of demands on the curriculum and paperwork from the Ministry.
We hope and pray that negotiations will continue and be beneficial to everybody and that this will not be a long and drawn out process.
Kind regards and blessings,