Dressed in yellow and purple, hundreds of Bay teachers took part in a beach protest over Novopay.
The flawed payroll system was one of the issues discussed by about 800 teachers at a paid union meeting at Baypark yesterday. About 600 continued to a group protest at Tay St beach in Mount Maunganui.
Tauranga Intermediate School teacher Samantha Crossman said New Zealand's high-quality public education system was in "dire straits" if the Government introduced the Global Education Reform Movement, nicknamed the Germ.
"We are against the Germ and our education system would suffer immensely if it comes in. There is evidence of the negative effect the Germ has had in other countries - negative on teachers, on students and the education system."
The Government's education policies, including Novopay and charter schools, have stemmed from the Germ. The policies focus on standardisation, competition and test-based accountability.
Katikati Primary School teacher Lindsey Honey told the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend she was disgusted with the way the Government had treated teachers in their collective agreement negotiations and the handling of Novopay.
"We work really hard and the reason we're in this job is because we want to make a difference to children we work with.
"The Government is totally disregarding us as a profession and it's insulting. There is a lack of responsibility being shown and a lack of consideration shown to teachers and we are here today to support our colleagues and let everyone know that this is unacceptable."
NZEI Bay of Plenty field officer Rachel Chater said the mood at the union meeting and protest was incredibly sombre, and teachers were frustrated and angry at the Government.
"[The beach protest] is about us standing together to say we're not happy and standing up for our kids and our quality education system."
Photographers flew over the protest in a helicopter to capture images of signs that read: "No to Novopay" and "Stand Up For Our Kids".