A number of Whanganui primary school teachers and staff say they are willing to continue striking if the Government doesn't improve its pay offer.
They had their second strike this year after teachers, principals and support staff took the day off school to protest the Ministry of Education's pay offer as well as heavy workloads and lack of resourcing.
Last week the ministry made a new offer to teachers that left increases of 3 per cent over three years unchanged.
However, it did offer a new top step and the partial removal of a cap on qualifications for some teachers from 2020. The offer did not address class sizes or professional time claims.
Parents had to take time off work to look after their children or find alternative options.
Primary pupils could be seen with their caregivers and parents throughout the city on Tuesday. Teachers, principals and support staff started the day picketing at major intersections around the city as people were heading to work in the morning.
"We are very serious about our pay and our conditions," said Maryann Roberts, Whanganui Principals' Association president.
"It's not just about the pay. We've had some great movement in that area but it's about the conditions. We want what's best for our learners and the time for learners to learn."
After the picketing, they met at Whanganui Intermediate to discuss the pay offer from the Government before speeches in front of about 100 supporters at Majestic Square.
One of the teachers there from St Anne's School, Halim Sheridan, said public education in New Zealand was at a breaking point.
"I can't speak for all members but I do know there is strong support for continuing further action from myself and having spoken to a number of other people.
"This problem is not going away. Education is on the precipice of disaster. If people are not familiar with that - that is actually where we're at.
"Public education is under threat and the Government needs to take some serious, serious action. The action taken thus far hasn't been enough, anywhere near enough. The message we want to get across ... is that things have to change. There have been things put in place thus far - simply not enough. If they think it's enough, it's not enough."
One of the speakers was St Anne's School Year 7 pupil Sophie King.
"Lawyers, doctors, nurses and many more - none of us would be where we are today without teachers," she said.
"This is all going to change soon if we don't do something about the crisis that is bracing education in New Zealand today. The Government must support our teachers."
She said there were too many teachers leaving the industry and there was a decline of new entrants to the profession.
Other speakers included parents, Board of Trustees (BOT) members and teachers. All of them talked about the pressures schools were under and why they wanted a better pay offer from the Government.
"We're hearing about some of our kaiako leaving within the first five years of coming in as teachers and that's because conditions aren't nice," said Jayson Herewini, a parent and BOT member at Mosston School.
"We've all got social media accounts, we've all got influence somewhere. Those politicians they want our voice when it comes to their vote. Why don't we get in behind our kaiako and support them."
Union members will vote whether to accept or reject the Government's latest offer. If they do vote to decline they will then meet to decide what to do from there.