Primary teachers to start voting tomorrow on whether to strike in November

Oceania/New Zealand/ 16.10.2018/ Source:

Primary school teachers will begin voting tomorrow on whether to strike for a week in November.

The ballot follows the rejection of the Ministry of Education’s latest offers to teachers and principals in September.

NZEI Te Riu Roa members said the offers failed to address what Education Minister Chris Hipkins admitted was a crisis in education.

The secret online ballot will run from Tuesday 16 October to Thursday 25 October with members to vote on whether to undertake a week rolling one-day strikes from Monday 12 November to Friday 16 November.

Strike action would fall on different days throughout the country.

President Lynda Stuart said the Government could avert potential strike action with an improved offer.

«Strike action is always a last resort. If the Government comes back with an improved offer that our members feel genuinely addresses the education crisis, the disruption of a strike could be avoided,» Ms Stuart said.

«However, if teachers are forced to take strike action, it is clear that they continue to have the public’s strong support. Parents understand that ultimately this is all about the future of their children’s education.»

«Recruiting from overseas to fill the immediate shortfall will help, but it is a band-aid solution. The Ministry’s own research shows only 16 per cent of youth in New Zealand think teaching is an appealing profession. It’s clear that the only way to solve the shortage long-term will be to turn that around.»

Potential strike dates

Auckland Region – Monday 12 November

North Island (except Auckland and Wellington) – Tuesday 13 November

Wider Christchurch area (including Ellesmere, Ashley, Mid-Canterbury, Malvern, Hurunui) – Wednesday 14 November

South Island (except Christchurch) – Thursday 15 November

Wellington Region – Friday 16 November

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