Advice for Today’s Teacher Strikes
ADVICE FOR TODAY’S TEACHER
SENIOR EMPLOYMENT ADVISER ASHLEA MALEY FROM WORKPLACE RELATIONS SPECIALIST FIRM, EMPLOYSURE.
“It’s not just about better pay.”
“Beyond wages, teachers have begun to demand a greater commitment to investment in public education from their governing bodies, either school boards or state legislatures. Toddy’s teachers’ strike is essentially about greater investment in public education, better working conditions, and improving the workplace culture in education.”
“Teachers need adequate supplies, individual teacher attention and access to mental health services, such as counsellors, if they are expected to thrive in the classroom and their workplace.”
The “ripple effect”.
“We have received a number of calls from businesses affected in the region confused by the impact and what means.”
“Today’s teacher’s strike is not an isolated issue as the ripple effect on many businesses around New Zealand has made its impact. Last minute childcare arrangements can be difficult to organise, many businesses with see an increase in employee absenteeism today.”
“If an employee is unable to attend work today, due to the teachers strike then the employer may choose to pay employees at their discretion in these circumstances. However, employees are not entitled to be paid for absences due to disruption where the workplace remains open,” she said.
In such circumstances, Maley explains that employers may consider alternative action, and offer employees options such as, “Allowing employees to take the day off as personal leave or unpaid leave, substituting time to be worked on another day, allowing employees to work from home where possible or from an alternate place of work, if available allowing extra time for the journey or offering alternate means of transport.”
“Employers should take this opportunity today, to consider and decide on their own internal policy for dealing with employees who are unable to attend work or arrive on time due to unusual circumstances outside the control of the employee or employer, particularly to care for children who cannot attend school during the strike.”