Teachers overwhelmingly reject global funding, plan protest action

Teachers across New Zealand reject the Government's latest school funding proposal and   plan to fight its introduction. Photo / File
Teachers across New Zealand reject the Government's latest school funding proposal and plan to fight its introduction. Photo / File

Teachers are rejecting the Government's latest school funding proposal and plan to take industrial action to fight its introduction.

The results of a nationwide vote at a series of stopwork meetings of teachers and support staff has led to a near-universal rejection of the global bulk-funding model.

More than 99 per cent of teachers and support stuff voted against it.

The unions representing primary and secondary teachers say global funding is a return to the failed bulk-funding experiment of the 1990s and could result in fewer teachers and larger class sizes, to the detriment of children's education.

At a media conference at Wellington's Clyde Quay School this morning, NZEI
president Louise Green and PPTA president Angela Roberts confirmed there was now a mandate to take further action against global funding.

"This funding proposal has created unprecedented concern - and unity - across the education sector. Educators see no benefits but great risks to education if global funding is to go ahead," said Green.

Roberts said the Government needed to take bulk funding off the table and focus on better ways to address inequity and chronic under-funding of the education system.

The unions would continue the campaign with the launch of a roadshow starting in main centres next term. The public would asked to sign postcards to the Minister of Education rejecting bulk funding and calling for better funding.

Acting Education Minister Anne Tolley said the unions had been involved in discussions around a new funding system "from a much earlier point than usual".

"Their feedback, alongside the views of teachers and principals that were gathered by the Ministry of Education will be taken into account when Minister Parata reports to Cabinet later this year. The Cabinet will then decide how to progress.

"Discussions on the funding review remain at a very early stage. No policy has been developed yet and nothing has been decided. More funding has not been ruled out.

"In fact, any changes won't be implemented until 2019 at the earliest. We want to take the time to get this right and for any changes to be better than the current complex system."

- NZ Herald

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