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Teachers/Principals Discuss Lack Of Progress

Media Release
From NZEI Te Riu Roa

Teachers/Principals Discuss Lack Of Progress In Talks

NZEI Te Riu Roa is this week holding 92 meetings throughout the country to report back to teachers and principals who work in primary, intermediate and area schools on the lack of progress in their collective agreement negotiations.

There have been seven days of talks since NZEI Te Riu Roa presented its claims package to the Ministry of Education on June 10. Although the Ministry has tabled an offer on pay, they have rejected the union’s major claims that affect teaching and learning.

The major claims the Ministry of Education has rejected are:
- non contact time for teachers to ease their excessive workload.
- ensuring teachers who hold additional teaching qualifications, are paid no less than teachers who have additional non-teaching qualifications.
- ensuring deputy/assistant principals and senior teachers are rewarded for the extra workload and responsibilities they undertake in schools.
- ensuring new teachers entering a demanding profession are supported so they stay in teaching.

“NZEI’s claims address problems that are making it increasingly difficult for teachers and principals in primary, intermediate and area schools to provide a quality education for the 480,000 students they teach. In rejecting these claims the Ministry is turning its back on these children,” says NZEI National President Colin Tarr.

“A major problem NZEI teachers face is an excessive workload, highlighted by surveys that show the average working week for a teacher is now more than 50 hours long, with some teachers working up to 86 hours a week.”

“Teachers are working these hours because of the growing amount of work that they must complete on top of the time they spend in the classroom. This aspect of a teachers’ work has grown so much that they now spend more time doing this than they do teaching children.”

“NZEI teachers and principals are committed to providing a quality education for their students and that’s why the Ministry’s refusal to acknowledge problems such as workload is so disappointing.”

“The meetings that begin today have been organised to report the lack of progress in the negotiations to the 28,000 teachers and principals covered by the collective agreements under negotiation,” says Colin Tarr.

A full list of the 92 meetings is provided with this release. The meetings are not open to the media but reporters, photographers and camera crew are welcome to attend and to talk to NZEI officials and member representatives before or after the meetings.


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