Dunedin Early Childhood Teachers Poised To Strike
More than 50 early childhood teachers in Dunedin are poised to take strike action in a dispute with their employer over their collective contract.
The teachers, who are members of the education union NZEI Te Riu Roa, are employed by the Dunedin Community Childcare Association – one of the city’s largest early childhood providers.
It runs five early childhood centres, as well as a home-based early childhood service.
The Association is refusing to remain a party to the Early Childhood Education Collective Agreement which gives staff fair, equitable and professional conditions of employment. The agreement is designed to provide national consistency across the early childhood sector. Research suggests centres covered by a collective agreement provide high quality education and care.
NZEI members have voted to take 24 hour strike action from 7.30am Tuesday 12 February if the Association does not agree to accept the Early Childhood Education Collective Agreement by 4.30pm Friday 8 February.
They have also resolved to take further industrial action if necessary.
NZEI is urging the Association to rethink its position. It says the decision not to remain a party to the Collective Agreement is a retrograde step which will be to the detriment of staff, both professionally and industrially, and to the detriment of children attending its centres.
NZEI field officer Lee Rowe says notice of strike action has been served on the Association and letters have been given to parents advising them of the situation.