Teachers vote for joint strike on 29 May
12 May 2019
Primary and secondary teachers across New Zealand have both voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking joint strike action on 29 May, NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) announced today.
Primary principals also voted in favour of the strike. Primary teachers and principals voted in secret ballots at meetings across the country over the last week, while in the same period the PPTA held an online ballot of secondary school teachers.
The joint strike will see the largest ever industrial action by New Zealand teachers, covering almost 50,000 members across the two unions. The unions are calling for a day of action for the future of education on 29 May, and are encouraging parents and the public to join them at public events around the country.
NZEI Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart says teachers are raising their voices together to say they need the government to prioritise addressing the education crisis.
“Giving teachers time to teach and to lead, and ensuring teaching is a viable long-term career choice, is essential if children are to get the teaching and learning they deserve,” she says. “We know we have enormous support from parents and we ask all New Zealanders to support us in our fight for the future of education in New Zealand.
"Teachers have spoken – they want the government to find a solution, now. Our children cannot wait and neither can our teachers.”
PPTA president Jack Boyle says, “We are united in our aspirations. We want every child to leave school with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to reach their potential.”
“Teachers do not take strike action lightly. We would rather be with our kids in our classrooms. We want a positive outcome,” he says.
“It is hugely disappointing that we have reached this point. We want to work with the government to agree solutions that make teaching the attractive career it should be.”
Primary teachers and principals also confirmed in the ballot their rejection of the Government’s current package to settle their collective agreements.
“The outcome shows teachers and principals are united and resolute in their commitment to getting significantly improved pay, time and support for learning needs,” says Ms Stuart.
“The offers we have received from the government have not addressed the issues our profession is facing. They will not turn around the crisis in education that is looming,” she says.
Jack Boyle says, “A well resourced, equitable education system is essential for a healthy society. We hope the government acts on its principles and makes that happen.”