November 24, 2006
Teachers & Principals Support Workload & Careers Direction
Primary teachers and principals have voted to endorse the direction their union, NZEI Te Riu Roa, is taking to develop a clearer career path for teachers and to address their workload.
They cast their votes at more than 200 paid union meetings held in school time throughout the country.
The paid union meetings were organised as part of the preparation for next year’s negotiations to renew the teachers and principals collective employment agreements.
Under the Employment Relations Act 2000, every union member in the country is entitled to attend two paid union meetings a year, in work time, to discuss important issues.
“The meetings were a success,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Irene Cooper.
“They enabled NZEI to consult teachers and principals about the work we’re doing to address their workload issues and to develop a clearer career path for teachers.”
“The feedback we’ve had is that we managed to do this with a minimum of inconvenience to students and their parents.”
We needed to hold the meetings to consult teachers and principals on work NZEI has been doing with the Ministry of Education and the School Trustees Association on their career pathways and workload.
This work has been on-going for two years. It’s part of a Long Term Work Programme, established when NZEI negotiated the current primary teachers’ collective agreement in 2004.
“It was essential for teachers and principals to get this information, so they had a chance to ask questions and provide feedback on these major issues,” says Irene Cooper.
The union will now use this feedback to begin developing claims for next year, when we negotiate the collective agreements covering primary teachers and principals. The current agreements expire at the end of June next year.