Education Minister Chris Hipkins is hoping to meet with teachers next week to break an impasse, that's provoked nationwide strike action this week.

Tens of thousands of teachers and supporters took to the streets on Wednesday in the country's first combined strike by primary and secondary teachers, affecting 773,000 children.

And the Post-Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) has announced its strike action for secondary teachers will continue.

Hipkins this evening announced he had invited the leaderships of the NZEI and PPTA unions to meet with him and the Ministry of Education on Thursday.


He hoped the forum for would help to break the current deadlock between teachers and government.

"The issues being raised by teachers are many, varied and complex.

"The Government is committed to taking action to address those concerns progressively over time."

The Ministry of Education would make no further comment until after the parties had met, Hipkins said.

Thousands of striking teachers, and their supporters, listening to Education Minister Chris Hipkins on the Parliament forecourt. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Thousands of striking teachers, and their supporters, listening to Education Minister Chris Hipkins on the Parliament forecourt. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The Post-Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) announced its strike action for secondary teachers would kick off this coming Tuesday - with teachers opting not to teach a certain year group on a particular day, over four weeks.

This included Year 9 on June 4, Year 10 on June 11, Year 11 on June 25 and Year 12 on July 2.

Secondary teachers will also take part in rolling regional strikes, taking place during the week beginning June 17.

Teachers from Tamaki Makaurau, Northland, Counties Manukau, Hauraki and Coromandel will strike on June 17.


Teachers from Waikato, Taranaki, Central Plateau, Western Bay of Plenty and Bay of Plenty will strike on June 18.

Teachers from Otago, Southland and Aoraki will strike on June 19.

Teachers from Canterbury, the West Coast, Nelson and Marlborough will strike on June 20.

And teachers from Wellington, Hutt Valley, Wairarapa, Manawatu-Whanganui, Hawkes Bay and the East Coast with strike on June 21.

NZ Educational Institute (NZEI) president Lynda Stuart told an Auckland crowd on Wednesday that the teachers were willing to strike again if necessary to win better pay and conditions.

"We have come too far not to go further," she declared.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins offered little sign of compromise, telling marchers at Parliament: "I acknowledge you want more progress, and you want it to be fast, and I cannot offer you that."

The Ministry of Education has offered pay rises of 3 per cent a year for three years, and an extra step at the top of the salary scales, to both the PPTA and the primary teachers' union, the NZ Educational Institute (NZEI).

It said the offer would cost taxpayers $1.2 billion over four years.

But members of both unions have rejected the offer because the ministry hasn't offered anything to relieve teachers' workloads by providing more classroom release time.

The NZEI is also unhappy with the pay offer because primary teachers' pay has fallen about 3 per cent behind secondary teachers' pay because of the timing of the two collective agreements.

The union wants to restore "pay parity" for all teachers - a principle won through repeated strikes in the 1990s.