More than 80 per cent of New Zealanders support pay rises for teachers, a new survey shows.
The survey of 1008 people from Research Now's online panel, commissioned by the teacher unions, shows that 83 per cent of people agree that primary and secondary teachers "need a pay rise".
Asked to nominate how big the pay rise should be, 55 per cent of the sample suggested a rise of at least 10 per cent.
The Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) produced figures last year to claim a 14.5 per cent pay hike, and the NZ Educational Institute (NZEI), representing primary and preschool teachers, is considering a pay claim "in the order of 16 per cent over two years".
Both unions are planning stopwork meetings to back up their pay claims this year.
NZEI president Lynda Stuart said the new survey showed that the unions "have the public mandate to take action".
PPTA president Jack Boyle said New Zealanders understood the issues facing teachers.
"Unprecedented teacher shortages are caused by extreme workloads, excessive red-tape and salaries that are just plain too low," he said.
The survey found public support for teachers' pay increases regardless of whether or not people have children at school - 81 per cent among parents of primary school children, 83 to 85 per cent among parents of secondary school children, and 83 per cent among those with no children at school.
Of those who supported a pay increase, 61 per cent favoured a "moderate" pay rise, 30 per cent a "major" pay hike and 8 per cent a "minor" pay increase.
Asked to nominate a percentage, 55 per cent of the total sample suggested 10 per cent or more, 29 per cent an increase below 10 per cent, and 17 per cent did not favour a pay rise at all.
The survey also found that a massive 91 per cent of the public agree that "more needs to be done for students with additional learning needs", and the same 91 per cent support "more money being allocated to fixing problems in education" in next month's Budget.
However the public remains generally happy with how schools are doing.
Almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of parents with primary school children feel primary schools are "doing okay" or "doing well", and 64 per cent of parents with secondary school children feel secondary schools are doing okay or doing well.