Teacher strikes today

Last month it was nurses striking for better pay and conditions, this month it’s primary school teachers. The benefit of patients was promoted, today’s strike is justified as being for the good of children and education.

RNZ: Teachers strike: What you need to know

Primary and intermediate school teachers who are members of the Educational Institute will go on strike on 15 August.

The union says that means 27,745 teachers and 1827 principals won’t be at work.

Teachers who are not union members will not be on strike.

However, principals’ groups have told RNZ News that most schools will not be able to open for instruction because they won’t have enough teachers on deck. They expect the vast majority of the 1945 primary and intermediate schools around the country will be shut, though a few might provide supervision for a limited number of children.

The decision to open a school, shut it or provide supervision is up to each school’s boards of trustees.

Most parents will have to arrange childcare for their children tomorrow.

The union has organised rallies in all the main centres and many regional towns.

In Auckland there will be a march down Queen Street to Aotea Square. In Christchurch, union members are meeting in Cathedral Square and marching around the city, while in Wellington they will meet at the Westpac stadium before marching to Parliament.

Negotiation of the collective agreements for primary and intermediate teachers and principals has stalled.

The Education Ministry and the Educational Institute have tried mediation to break the deadlock, but without success.

The union entered negotiations with a claim that included a 16 percent pay rise over two years for primary school teachers, special education coordinators in every school, and smaller class sizes.

The ministry offered increases ranging from 14 percent over three years for new teachers through to six percent for experienced teachers.

The ministry’s offer would raise beginning teachers’ pay from $47,980 to $55,030 over three years, while the salaries of the the most experienced teachers would increase from $75,949 to $80,599.

Not bad pay, but teaching can be a fairly demanding job.

RNZ – Teachers on strike: ‘I’m starting to feel a little bit angry’

Teacher Matt Boucher said his sign “Still fighting an 8 hour day” referred to teachers’ long working hours.

“The amount of workload that we have if we want to do a good job and we want to meet all the demands that are put on us, it takes far longer than an eight-hour day and more than a 40-hour week,” he said.

Across the table, Jamie Hoare, said his strike placard was based on the “learning intentions” used in the classroom by teachers every day.

Mr Hoare said he was unhappy with the way the collective agreement negotiations were going.

“I am starting to feel a little bit angry about it. I’ve been teaching eight years now and over that time have felt like the salary hasn’t met the expectations, also the time demands have increased enormously over that time and we just don’t have the resources to do our job.”

The school’s principal, Traci Liddall, drew a placard that said she was “Seriously SWISed off”.

Ms Liddall said teachers were angry: “It’s been nine years of belt tightening and not meeting the needs of students or teachers and now we need things to change,” she said.

There’s been wage ‘belt tightening’ for many workers over the last ten years.

A question on the strike in Parliament yesterday:

How many primary schools have notified the Ministry of Education that they will be open for instruction or supervision, or will close tomorrow?

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Minister of Education): I’ve been advised that as of this morning, 1,264 schools, including intermediates and contributing schools, have notified the Ministry of Education that they’ll be closed tomorrow. The ministry’s continuing to monitor that. Schools have been asked to give parents and caregivers as much notice as possible as to whether the school will be open for instruction or supervision, or will close. The New Zealand School Trustees Association is working with school boards to help them prepare and plan for strike action, and advice was sent out two weeks ago to school boards providing guidance on potential strike action and how to communicate about that to parents.

One pay announcement already- Stuff: Pay rise for 329 women in education

Women working to support children’s learning have signed pay equity deal with Government.

53 Comments

    • David

       /  August 15, 2018

      He must be feeling a bit miffed after getting rid of national standards and charter schools its still not enough for the unions.
      They can see a one term government with a PM who only ever seems to appear with children and is weak and distracted and think Lotto time, lets do this, because the stars dont often align.

    • Zedd

       /  August 15, 2018

      good caricature.. enuf sed

  1. David

     /  August 15, 2018

    They are already well paid, better than their UK counterparts despite their higher cost of living, the classes are planned by the ministry and its a myth they have to spend all night planning what to teach the following day, sure they have some marking but have free time during the day despite the school day starting at 8.45 and finishing at 3.15.
    Mate is a teacher and 1st day of the holidays is on the golf course..3 plus months holiday.

    • duperez

       /  August 15, 2018

      I’m trying to work out what it means when you say classes are planned by the ministry. You’re a teacher of 28 eight year olds in Mt Roskill, a group made up kids from nine different ethnic groups with widely varying levels of English, and it’s cut and dried because the ministry has provided you with plans?

      • David

         /  August 15, 2018

        Exactly what I said and those kids either fall through the cracks or they have normal parents who make sure they are up to speed and thriving.
        There arnt thousands of dedicated teachers slaving into the night teaching these kids are there, ever driven past a school at 5pm..car park ain’t full

        • duperez

           /  August 15, 2018

          Your implication that in the scenario I gave, a teacher walks in, picks up some Ministry of Education document and simply does some sort of ‘paint by numbers’ exercise (until 3pmish) then goes home might be accepted by some. Not me. I’m trying to work out whether it’s simple ignorance, hatred of teachers or some political motive which makes you think you are right.
          Your simplistic reference to cars in school carparks indicates your attitude.

          • David

             /  August 15, 2018

            I am mates with 2 primary teachers and as long as you are personally organised there is no need to work beyond 4.30.
            The curriculum and term and lesson plan is all done by the ministry, do you really think each individual teacher decides what they are going to do.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  August 15, 2018

              They have to mark it. They don’t just dish it out, there’s more to it than that.

              My mother used to do her marking etc very early before school so that she could be free at 3pm.

    • Blazer

       /  August 15, 2018

      have to agree David.Most teachers ,teach by rote,trying to churn out obedient,compliant .cookie cutter future citizens.
      Creativity and non conformity is frowned upon.
      The essence of human vitality is suppressed….all done in the best possible..taste.

      • duperez

         /  August 15, 2018

        Utter nonsense of course. The weird thing is, the ironic thing is, that voices which complain about schools not ‘chucking the book away’ and doing innovative creative programmes in innovative creative ways, trusting innovative creative teachers and principals, are the same ones who want to control teachers and schools by having the ‘paint by numbers’ systems. They want accountability structures which are constructed to measure by absolute comparisons which requires everyone being on the same scale. You profess to want approaches which appreciate learning and schooling as organic and infinite approaches but show by your comments they are far from your knowledge or likelihood of having your acceptance. I would suggest you read Elwyn Richardson’s ‘in the Early World’ but reading it might show that what you want would require bravery beyond what exists in education in NZ in the Tolley /Parata eras and the world they helped create or cement for those with views like yours.

        • PDB

           /  August 15, 2018

          “Teachers need to stop sulking and realise every job is hard, says one deputy principal, as almost 30,000 of his colleagues strike.

          The acting deputy head teacher at a school in the Nelson region said: “Look, teaching isn’t a walk in the park. But it’s a pretty sweet gig.”

          “But while the money may not be quite as good in teaching, he said his workday was now considerably shorter than it was.

          “I’m away from work by 4pm almost every day, answer a few emails in the evening and mark for an hour on Sunday during term time. That’s it.”

          As for the teachers who said they worked through the holidays – he was sceptical.
          “Anyone who says they do is either pulling your leg, mistakenly remembering, playing the martyr, or terrible at managing their time.”

          He said while spending holidays working may be necessary in the first few years, after that teachers should have resources and lessons under their belt.

          “It’s that initial two to three years that’s hard – after that you’re on easy street.

          “Two solid eight-hour days in the holidays and I can prepare everything I’ll need for the next 10 weeks.”

          If you factor in teachers’ 12 weeks of holiday into their salaries, the money is pretty good too, he said.”

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/106269496/teaching-is-a-sweet-gig–theres-no-reason-to-strike-says-deputy-principal

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  August 15, 2018

            Teachers vary. My Latin teacher was a classic. Knew his text books like the back of his hand. Spent five minutes at the start of the period setting the work and buggered off. Came back ten minutes before the end and marked everyone’s efforts like greased lightning.

          • duperez

             /  August 15, 2018

            I agree with Blazer that we want, no, need creativity, non-conformity, and vitality every day in all classrooms. And responsiveness to the day to day reality and changes happening. A teacher saying they should have resources and lessons under their belts after the initial two to three years and then are on easy street could mean they’re not there for the particular kids at the particular time they just go in with a pre-determined view that the programme is the programme is the programme and they ‘re going to do it to the kids to do it to the kids and bugger the individuality and creativity which should be critical.

            This teacher fits the Parata model of teacher as a mere technician perfectly. He would make a brilliant principal dumbing his staff down to see teaching and learning like that.

        • Blazer

           /  August 15, 2018

          not sure whether you are talking to me or not.
          My opinion remains the same.The staus quo is designed to preserve the ‘system’.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  August 15, 2018

      That is utter nonsense, spoken by someone who has no idea,

      A Waikato town has a really good painting of a WWI soldier done by primary school pupils. His face is in shadow so that he could be any race….it’s on a wall and is a real piece of art. So are the tiles in one of Hamilton’s main shopping centres, all done by school chidren.

      You should see the art and read the creative writing done by school pupils before you say these silly things. Any ANZAC Day display will show the fallacy of your argument.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  August 15, 2018

      At one time a tube driver earned more than a UK teacher.

      • David

         /  August 15, 2018

        They still do have you seen how much a tube driver earns, they make more than most solicitors.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  August 15, 2018

          What ???? Where do I learn to be one ?

          • Gezza

             /  August 15, 2018

            First, find out where you can buy a tube with wheels & an engine … 😉

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  August 16, 2018

              te hee.

              I remember what fun it was to be in London for the first time and travel on the tube, seeing all the Monopoly board places.

  2. PDB

     /  August 15, 2018

    If good teachers are paid the same as poor teachers and the payrate is negotiated at an average level between the two groups then is it no surprise that good teachers feel they are underpaid?

  3. Blazer

     /  August 15, 2018

    there was a headmaster from Palmy on morning report this morning.The meal he made of the interview and the inaccuracy he provided makes one wonder if he at least is well…over paid.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  August 15, 2018

      Be fair, Being live on nationwide radio for the first time would be unnerving for many people.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  August 15, 2018

    Teaching is overdue for technological disruption and major advances in efficiency. Only sociological inertia stands in the way.

  5. Gerrit

     /  August 15, 2018

    Teachers should strike everyday…Auckland traffic was sparse and free flowing.

  6. Kitty Catkin

     /  August 15, 2018

    Back to the good old days of Labour when strikes were a daily occurrence.

    If concern for pupils and patients was the main issue, money wouldn’t be one. This makes no sense at all,

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  August 15, 2018

      It’s dishonest and disingenuous to claim that you don’t want more money for yourself, you want if for the good of patients/pupils. What good will it do them ?

      I’d respect them more if they didn’t use this unconvincing argument.

      • Gezza

         /  August 15, 2018

        Special education services were horribly underfunded. So I suspect are teacher aides. School maintenance & infrastructure likewise. Teachers are leaving the profession in droves, some say.

        I get the impression these issues are motivating the protests too.

        Up the pay & improve their working environments & that might change – but I suspect trying to teach bolshie & misbehaving kids with no respect for teachers (old or young) these days could be a real struggle for many & not worth the grief.

  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  August 15, 2018

    Teachers know they’ve got a sucker Govt. Promising a two day strike next. Ardern whimpering subservently:
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12107228

    • PDB

       /  August 15, 2018

      Ardern thought there was ‘absolutely’ no chance of any strikes ‘on her watch’, all was to be fixed by ‘having a conversation’. Now might be a good time to get the baby out for another round of MSM diversion…

    • PDB

       /  August 15, 2018

      Stuff: “A group of senior government ministers would meet the strikes in Wellington. Ardern initially told Stuff on Wednesday morning that she wouldn’t be among them because of another engagement.

      But a spokeswoman later confirmed the prime minister had juggled her diary so she could meet the striking teachers when they arrived at Parliament.”

      Ardern wasn’t even going to show up (no doubt a captive audience of 5 year old’s was waiting elsewhere). Maybe Winston gave her the hard word to front.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  August 15, 2018

        That’s odd.

        She wasn’t going to be there until she saw them all streaming in.

        She wasn’t going to be there, but she juggled her diary so that she could be there,

        Which was it ?

  8. Zedd

     /  August 15, 2018

    Natl saying the nurses & teachers strikes are ALL THE FAULT of this Govt.
    how f@cking stupid do they think we are ?

    they are striking because they know this Govt. will listen.. after 9 long years of neglect, being shoved about & being TOTALLY ignored by the last ‘MOB’ 😦

    • Zedd

       /  August 15, 2018

      IF folks dont know that.. they should pull their head out of their Fat A

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  August 15, 2018

        They know this Govt is under union thumbs, Z. Folks that won’t admit that are standing in a peculiar configuration too.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  August 15, 2018

          Take heart, Alan,

          People may become so sick of greedy strikes and the disruption from them that they will also become sick of Labour enabling and encouraging this.

        • Corky

           /  August 15, 2018

          Damn right, Alan. When things get really bad for the government, they will have to choose….votes or union support.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  August 15, 2018

            No choice. Unions finance them. They will go with the unions and lose votes.

            • Corky

               /  August 15, 2018

              Excellent. I forgot about Labours perilous finances.

            • Blazer

               /  August 15, 2018

              Labour need a Dr Jiang…he’s a fantastic fundraiser even if he was not totally honest with his citizenship ..application.I guess money talks.

            • Gezza

               /  August 15, 2018

              Most teachers are in the union & they & their partners are voters. I’m not sure at this point whether there’ll be a lot of public hostility to teacher strikes from anyone other than the usual suspects – right wing voters.

              One of the teachers who got a sound bite on 1ewes made the point that they don’t just teach – they are the folk who look after other people’s kids for them 5 days a week.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 15, 2018

              Your last point is the sociological inertia that keeps them in a job.

            • Gezza

               /  August 15, 2018

              WTF?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 15, 2018

              Child minding is the outstanding problem restricting technological innovation in education.

            • Gezza

               /  August 15, 2018

              Not sure what you mean, Al. That’s very vague.

              What do you mean by that in concrete terms, & what are your proposed to solutions to the:

              1. Child minding ‘problem’, &
              2. Lack, or restriction, of technological innovation in education?

  9. PDB

     /  August 15, 2018

    Stuff: “Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s decision to front the teacher unions as they marched on Parliament was supposedly a last minute change of heart.
    She had earlier told Stuff she would not be available. But apparently Ardern was moved by the sight of thousands of people streaming through Parliament’s gate.”

    “But Ardern’s appeal to them as fellow members of a common cause may have jarred with some as a case of the Government talking out of both sides of its mouth.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/106291054/will-she-wont-she-pm-jacinda-arderns-political-gamble-with-teachers

  10. Gezza

     /  August 15, 2018

    The Major News item on 1ewes at 6 tonight. Extensive video coverage of a lot of marches & demos/rallies in main cities & towns like Nelson. Teachers interviewed sounded very angry & determined to take more action if they don’t get what they want.

    Ardern left the baby in the bassinette & changed her schedule to go & speak to the angry throng from the steps of Parliament Buildings. Chris Hipkins was also shown looking & sounding worried & unhappy about their fervour.

    The demos looked a lot bigger than the nurses’s ones.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  August 15, 2018

      Teachers are used to bossing kids around. No sign of Winston there then?

      • Gezza

         /  August 15, 2018

        Teachers are used to bossing kids around.
        Poor Chippy. He’s always going to have that little boy look, I fear. A wise strategy for him I think would be to try & bring out their mothering instincts. I’m hurt, I’m being emotionally destroyed by this, sort of thing.

        No sign of Winston there then?
        Thought I caught a recognisable wheezy sniggering on the breeze at some point, but might have been my imagination. Didn’t see him there.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  August 15, 2018

          Winston knows when to raise and when to fold.

  1. Teacher strikes today — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition