Over 150 teaching jobs lost in Canterbury
Canterbury schools are expected to lose over 150 teachers in the next few months as principals and school boards deal with reduced budgets and falling rolls in the wake of the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes.
The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says it’s been a very upsetting and difficult time for both staff and management, as principals and boards have had to lay off great staff, many of whom worked way beyond the call of duty to support students, parents and communities through the trauma of the past year.
NZEI President Ian Leckie says while a number of schools are still making decisions about future staffing, it’s now clear that they will not lose as many teachers as originally anticipated.
“This is because a number of teachers have taken early retirement, moved on to other positions, or lost full-time tenure on previously secure jobs,” he says.
Mr Leckie says as rolls drop many schools are reducing hours for part-time teachers and relievers.
There has also been a significant decrease in operational funding which is used to pay support staff. This has meant that many excellent staff like teacher aides, librarians, sports, science and arts coordinators, or administrators have lost jobs or had their hours cut.
Mr Leckie says Canterbury teachers can expect there to be significantly less relief teaching positions next year, and very few positions will be available for new graduates.
Over 100 schools have lost staff entitlements over the past year, either through job losses, reduced hours, and reduction in full-time positions.
NZEI says all this could have been avoided had the government listened to calls to protect Canterbury’s education workforce and give children and their families the extra support they deserve by retaining staffing and funding levels through until the end of next year.
NZEI has been working with the Ministry of Education, the School Trustees Association, and the Post Primary Teachers Association on a series of initiatives to help schools manage job losses and changing employment conditions