Stephanie is a senior reporter for the Rotorua Daily Post.

Rotorua teachers reject global funding proposal

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Rotorua's educators were among those who resoundingly rejected the Government's latest school funding proposal and now 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 staff voted against it.

Bay of Plenty PPTA regional chairwoman Rae Brown said Rotorua educators gave the proposal a "thumbs down straight away".

"Anybody with any sense will see bulk funding is bad for education. I am not surprised at all with the voting outcome in Rotorua.

"Now we are hoping to get the message out there and have the backing of the public because we are not only fighting for our lives, we are fighting for the education of our children - that's the thing most dear to any teacher."

Ms Brown said at this stage there would be no teacher strikes in Rotorua, but did not rule out the possibility further down the track.

Rotorua Principals Association president Grant Henderson said the outcome of Rotorua's vote was no surprise.

Read more:
Rotorua teachers rally at union meeting (+video)


"We saw educators from early childhood through to secondary get together and say 'we want to be funded properly so we can provide our children with a world-class education system'."

When asked about the possibility of teachers striking, Mr Henderson said it was important to keep parents informed.

"We don't want to fall into a trap of striking for the sake of striking. If that form of protest has to be used, it's vital to get parents and the community on board early on so it doesn't come as a shock to anybody."

He said that while educators were quick to respond to the funding proposal, he applauded the education minister for putting it out in the public arena and opening it up to an honest and frank discussion.

"We've now told the Government what we think and it will come back to whether they will listen."

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 Ms Green.

Ms 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.

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.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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