Primary and secondary teachers across the country have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking joint strike action later this month.

NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Post Primary Teachers' Association [PPTA) made the announcement today they will strike on May 29.

Primary principals also voted in favour of striking.

Primary teachers and principals voted in secret ballots at meetings nationwide this past week, while the PPTA held an online ballot of secondary school teachers.


The joint strike will see the largest ever industrial action by New Zealand teachers, covering almost 50,000 members across the two unions.

The unions are calling for a day of action for the "future of education" on May 29, and are encouraging parents and the public to join them at public events around the country.

In a statement, NZEI Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart said teachers were raising their voices to say they need the government to prioritise addressing the education crisis.

"Giving teachers time to teach and to lead, and ensuring teaching is a viable long-term career choice, is essential if children are to get the teaching and learning they deserve.

"We know we have enormous support from parents and we ask all New Zealanders to support us in our fight for the future of education in New Zealand.

"Teachers have spoken – they want the government to find a solution, now. Our children cannot wait and neither can our teachers."

Primary teachers and principals confirmed in the ballot their rejection of the Government's current package to settle their collective agreements.

"The outcome shows teachers and principals are united and resolute in their commitment to getting significantly improved pay, time and support for learning needs," Stuart said.


"The offers we have received from the government have not addressed the issues our profession is facing. They will not turn around the crisis in education that is looming."

Secretary for Education Iona Holsted said the strike was a disruption to children and would not offer a solution.

"Throughout our ongoing pay discussions, we have been willing to discuss options for the combined $1.2 billion settlement. We have also invited both unions to talk about how we can address their time and other concerns outside of the pay talks," she said.

PPTA president Jack Boyle said, "We are united in our aspirations. We want every child to leave school with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to reach their potential."

"Teachers do not take strike action lightly. We would rather be with our kids in our classrooms. We want a positive outcome," he said.

"It is hugely disappointing that we have reached this point. We want to work with the government to agree solutions that make teaching the attractive career it should be."

Boyle said a "well resourced, equitable education system" was essential for a healthy society.

"We hope the Government acts on its principles and makes that happen."

Education Minister Chris Hipkins made the pre-budget announcement earlier this month and said it would be put towards training 2480 additional new teachers in an attempt to address the teacher shortage.

Both primary and secondary teachers have been offered pay rises of 3 per cent a year for three years and an extra top grade that would give many teachers effective pay rises of 12 per cent over three years.

Breakdown of the funding:
• Development of more employment-based initial teacher education (ITE) for secondary: $11.7m
• Teach First NZ for secondary schools: $16.2m
• Support for ITE providers to meet new and strengthen Teaching Council requirements: $24.6m
• Returning New Zealand and overseas Trained Teacher Recruitment support for secondary and primary teachers: $5.9m
• Overseas Relocation Grant for secondary and primary teachers: $6.6m
• Finders Fee for secondary and primary schools: $2.4m
• Expanded TeachNZ scholarships Fund for primary and secondary: $13.3m
• Expanded Bilingual Education Award for primary and secondary: $720,000
• Co-design of Iwi Based Scholarships Programme for primary and secondary: $800,000
• National Beginning Teacher Induction Grant for secondary and primary schools: $4m
• Voluntary Bonding Scheme expansion: $4.2m
• Reach and Engagement to implement Teacher Supply Initiatives: $2.3m
• Analysis and evaluation: $2.4m
Total: $95m