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Survey shows strong public support for big teacher pay rise

11 April 2018

New research shows strong public support for more Government spending on public education, including a significant pay rise for teachers and more support for children with additional learning needs.

NZEI Te Riu Roa and PPTA commissioned the survey* and NZEI President Lynda Stuart said the findings were a strong indicator of public opinion leading into the May Budget and teacher and principal collective agreement negotiations.

"The government has made all the right noises about addressing this crisis and this research shows they have the public mandate to take action," she said.

PPTA President Jack Boyle was not surprised to hear that New Zealanders understood the issues facing teachers and the teaching profession.

"Unprecedented teacher shortages are caused by extreme workloads, excessive red-tape and salaries that are just plain too low," he said.

Other key findings of the research were:
• 83% believe that teachers need a pay rise and of those, 91% of respondents support at least a "moderate" pay increase - 67% want at least a 10% pay rise for teachers and 29% want more than 20%
• Most (82%) agree that a pay rise will improve teacher numbers and address shortages
• Widespread agreement that there is a shortage of teachers, both at Primary and Secondary schools (85%)
• Very strong agreement (91%) that more support is needed for students with additional learning needs
Mr Boyle said New Zealanders are starting to see how badly the previous government short-changed every part of society, from our hospitals to our classrooms.

Ms Stuart said bold action was needed to ensure that there was a teacher in every classroom in the future and this survey showed that the public wants action from the government.

"We're already seeing schools struggle to recruit and retain teachers because even a passion for teaching often can't compete against the heavy workload, long hours and low pay," she said.

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