Teachers across the country will strike next Thursday.
It comes after members of two teachers’ unions voted to take industrial action to protest against the lack of progress with collective agreement negotiations ongoing since May 2022.
“Secondary teachers want ... pay rates and conditions to keep skilled and experienced teachers in the classroom, make secondary teaching a first choice career and encourage thousands of ex-teachers to return,” the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) said.
Teachers in the PPTA and New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) will hold events around the country, including rallies and volunteering, with most starting at 11am.
An NZEI email said: “We will join our area school teacher colleagues and principals, primary principals and kindergartens alongside PPTA secondary school teachers in holding joint action across Aotearoa New Zealand.
“This is a combined workforce of 50,000 people and together our voices will be loud.”
Several schools have already announced they will be closed
In Auckland, disgruntled teachers will march from along Queen St and Fort St to Aotea Square.
In Christchurch, teachers will meet at Victoria Square and march on the local Ministry of Education office on Hereford St.
Meanwhile, in Wellington, a rally will be held at Parliament at midday.
The strike decision was made after union members “overwhelmingly” rejected Ministry of Education offers.
NZEI President Mark Potter said: “The offer did little to address the concerns we have as a sector, and did not go far enough in ensuring that teaching is a valued and attractive profession.”
The rising cost of living was an issue for teachers, Potter said, but the pay offer was only part of why union members rejected the Ministry’s offer.
Staffing numbers and school and kindergarten funding remained important concerns, he said.
“This rejection of the offers and the move to a strike ballot is just the first step,” Potter said.
“I’m sure our members will be making their voices and opinions heard from now until the general election.”
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