17 August 2011
Kindergarten teachers to discuss stalled pay talks
Kindergarten teachers across the country will be attending paid union meetings over the next two weeks to discuss their stalled pay negotiations.
They have been in negotiations for more than six months and the key sticking point is around professional release time.
Their union NZEI Te Riu Roa says the Ministry of Education and kindergarten employers are trying to take away two hours of non-contact release time for teachers in sessional kindergartens.
NZEI spokesperson and lead negotiator Hayley Whitaker says that release time is essential in supporting teaching and learning and in the day-to-day management of kindergartens.
“Teachers use their release time in a variety of valuable ways such as planning, record-keeping, administration, parent follow-ups, liaising with special education staff or other agencies, managing rolls, and displaying children’s learning. It is time which has a direct impact on meeting the needs of our children and families and it is time we cannot afford to lose,” she says.
Kindergarten teachers will be filling in professional time registers at the paid union meetings to send into the Minister of Education to highlight the sort of essential work that gets done during two hours of non-contact time.
The paid union meetings are being held this week through until 29 August in regions around the country.