Northland primary and intermediate school teachers and principals will walk out of their classrooms to strike tomorrow.

Education union NZEI announced it would go ahead with rolling strikes this week despite a new offer from the Ministry worth $698 million over three years. It is the second time teachers and principals have gone on strike this year.

There will be meetings in Kaitaia, Kerikeri, Whangārei and Dargaville tomorrow at 10am to discuss the latest offer.

Dargaville teachers and principals will also picket outside the town clock from 9am; Whangārei teachers will picket around town from 8am and will then march from Northland Events Centre to the Town Basin at 11am; Kerikeri teachers will be picketing on main roads from 8am; and Kaitaia teachers will picket outside the old Pak'n Save and on the grass area outside the new Warehouse from 11am.


The Ministry's latest offer, presented last Thursday, followed four days of facilitated bargaining under the Employment Relations Authority (ERA).

The offer did not move on an earlier offer to raise pay scales by 3 per cent a year for three years, but it included a new top step and the partial removal of a cap on qualifications for some teachers from 2020.

NZEI president Lynda Stuart said the offers did not address union claims for lower class sizes and more professional time.

• In October NZEI held a 10-day electronic ballot which saw teachers vote for rolling strike action, this followed a strike held in August.
• The Employment Relations Authority facilitated bargaining between NZEI and the Ministry of Education last week.
• The Ministry put forward a new offer which the ERA recommended teachers accept. It includes:
* A $500 lump sum for NZEI members only.
* Lifting the maximum salary for teachers who trained before degrees became required for teaching by four steps on the pay scale from $59,621 to $82,992, by 2020.
* Creating an extra step at the top of the salary scale from 2020, lifting the top of the basic scale by 12.6 per cent, from $75,949 to $85,481, by 2020.
• Teachers and principals had asked for a 16 per cent pay rise over the two years.
• Members also want to fix the teacher shortage crisis, more time to teach and lead, and to fix issues related to career development.