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Strike notices issued, primary teachers consider next steps

Strike notices issued and primary teachers consider next steps as facilitation concludes

9 November 2018

Primary teachers are set to begin a week of one-day rolling nationwide strikes on Monday.

Facilitation under the Employment Relations Authority was concluded yesterday and the strike meetings will consider new offers from the Ministry and recommendations from the facilitator.

Striking primary principals and teachers will be rallying on more than 100 street corners in Auckland at 7.30am on Monday, and having mass meetings to consider the current situation later that day.

The Ministry made a new offer to teachers yesterday, which leaves percentage increases of 3% a year over 3 years unchanged from the previous offer. However, it now includes a new top step and the partial removal of a cap on qualifications for some teachers from 2020.

The offers do not address class sizes or professional time claims from NZEI Te Riu Roa.

"The question is: will this address the crisis in education and the teacher shortage? What we asked for had children at the heart - for example more time to teach and smaller class sizes. This is something that our members now need to decide," says NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart.

School communities were notified informally several weeks ago of the strike dates, but formal strike issues were issued late last night for Auckland. Notices for other regions of the country that strike later next week will be issued today and Monday.

Ms Stuart said members would carefully consider both the offer and any recommendations made by the facilitator at mass meetings being held during the strikes.

"The strike action still stands as the offer is not substantially different enough to give us the mandate to revoke the strike notice. We will give members the opportunity to consider the offer, any recommendations from the ERA, and next steps."

"Teachers and principals do not take strike action lightly. This second strike is unprecedented for primary schools in recent years."

The key elements of the new offer for teachers are:

* 3% +3%+3% per year over a three year term (unchanged)

* no increase in classroom release time (unchanged)

* a new top pay step for Q3+ and above teachers only from 2020

* removal of the qualifications cap on progression for Q1-Q2 from 2020

* a $500 lump sum for NZEI members only

The principals' offer remains unchanged from the previous offer except for a commitment to additional funding to ensure a minimum of two adults during the school day in schools with under 50 students, which would mean more support for smaller schools.

Local events around NZ

There will be rallies and events in every town and region as the strike moves around the country. In areas where there are multiple events, contact media@nzei.org.nz for information on likely key locations.

Auckland Region - Monday, 12 November

North Island (except Auckland and Wellington) - Tuesday, 13 November

Wider Christchurch (including Ellesmere, Ashley, Mid-Canterbury, Malvern, Hurunui and Aronui Tomua Waitaha) - Wednesday, 14 November

South Island (except wider Christchurch) Kaikoura is also included - Thursday, 15 November

Wellington Region - Friday, 16 November

In border regions, you can use this search tool to check the strike day in your area.

ENDS

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