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Over 700 sign letter calling for fair deal for Principals

Eleven newspapers around the country have this morning published an open letter from 762 primary school board chairs, calling for a settlement that will address the issues that principals face and ensure we can attract and keep excellent leaders in these vital roles.

NZEI Te Riu Roa organised the letter to Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Secretary for Education Iona Holsted, to show the strong levels of community support for principals.

President Lynda Stuart said principals deserved an offer that reflected their huge workload and responsibility for everything from student learning and staff wellbeing to property management and Ministry paperwork.

Union representatives have met with senior Ministry officials several times since principals rejected their collective agreement offer in June, but no further offer has been put forward.

Principals are currently undertaking partial strike action by ceasing communication with the Ministry of Education and withdrawing from participation in any Ministry-led work groups, taskforces or meetings until 16 August.

Paid Union Meetings for principals will be held from 12-15 August, to discuss any developments and consider further action should no adequate offer be forthcoming.

Text of the letter

"To the Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, and Secretary for Education, Iona Holsted,

We are writing to express our support for primary principals.

Primary principals do an amazing job for their schools and communities, and we think they deserve a collective agreement offer that reflects their considerable skills and responsibilities.

We believe that it is a matter of fairness and common sense that primary principals should have parity with their secondary school counterparts. If pay parity is fair for teachers, as the government has acknowledged, then surely it is fair for principals too.

The principals in our schools have our full support for their current strike action in which they are disengaging from the Ministry of Education and focussing solely on their schools.

We urge you to move quickly to propose a settlement that will address the issues that principals face and ensure we can attract and keep excellent leaders in these vital roles."

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