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Educators will fight for public education

Educators will fight for public education, regardless of Government

1 October 2017

Regardless of the eventual shade of Government, the union representing primary and early childhood teachers and support staff today committed to fighting to win good change for public education and children over the coming year.

In her opening speech at NZEI Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart said educators would win for children in early childhood education and schools, regardless of the shade of any new government.

“In just one year, the power of our collective voice and passion has propelled us to achieve huge wins – significant victories both for children and for the taonga that is public education,” Ms Stuart said.

“Together, we’ve seen the back of yet another attempt to undermine education and short-change our children through bulk funding. We’ve led the debate on teacher supply and the crisis in school and early childhood funding…and we’ve led on pay justice. Thousands of our members are well on the way to historic victories in equal pay.

Ms Stuart said the union members had identified two key areas of focus for the coming year: Pay equity - which is being fought for on behalf of Education Support workers, Support Staff and ECE educators - and a better deal for primary teachers and principals whose collective agreements expire next year.

“The days are numbered when women are underpaid, and undervalued, just because we’re women,” Ms Stuart said.

Several MPs, including Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins, and NZFirst’s education spokesperson Tracey Martin, are expected at the four day conference.

The fact that either New Zealand First or the Green Party were likely partners in any Government to be formed gave union members hope as both had promised better funding, and support, for schools and ECE.

"Our message to politicians at the negotiating table this weekend is: now is the opportunity to make good on those promises." Ms Stuart said.

For more information on the conference go to http://ac2017.nzei.org.nz

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