A Whangārei principal says now is the Education Minister's chance to "put his money where his mouth is" as primary school educators prepare to strike for the second time this year.
Primary and intermediate school teachers and principals across the country have voted to walk out of their classrooms in the week starting Monday, November 12, with Northland educators striking on Tuesday, November 13.
The decision to strike follows a 10-day electronic ballot and comes after a national strike on August 15 and NZEI members' rejection of a second offer by the ministry in late September.
Pat Newman, Hora Hora Primary School principal and president of the Te Tai Tokerau Principals' Association, said teachers were ready.
"I think the message I would give the Education Minister straight between his eyes is that it's all very well going and promising the world when he's in opposition, but now is his time to put his money where his mouth is.
"He cannot expect the teaching profession to carry on carrying the needs of the kids of New Zealand without adequate funding and adequate resourcing," he said.
Teachers and principals are asking for smaller classes so children can get more one-on-one attention; more resources and staffing to adequately support children with additional learning needs; a 16 per cent pay rise over two years, compared to the ministry's latest offer of 3 per cent over three years, to recruit and retain teachers; and more time to teach and lead.
The Ministry of Education said following the results of the ballot, the ministry and union would urgently seek facilitated bargaining under the Employment Relations Act.
"This process will facilitate reaching settlements for primary principals and primary teachers," it said .
Meanwhile, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said there was still a lot of water to go under the bridge before the proposed industrial action was due to take place.
"The Government is pleased the Ministry of Education and the NZEI are urgently seeking facilitation under the Employment Relations Act. This will advance the process to help reach settlements with primary principals and teachers."