Do principals deserve a pay rise as much as teachers?

Drive 13/08/2018
Photo: Getty

Primary school teachers will walk off the job on Wednesday as part of a full day of strike action against pay and working conditions.

The new full day strike replaces the previously planned three-hour walk out on August 15. It's been 24 years since primary teachers have taken action.

They’re demanding more time to teach and support students with special needs as well as a pay increase.

Teachers were offered a pay rise over three years from the Ministry of Education, but votes taken at paid union meetings in June showed the majority opted to reject it.

The offered pay rise ranged from 6.1 percent for the top of the pay scale, which would have made the maximum teacher's salary about $80,600, to a 14.7 percent increase to the entry salary, bringing that to $55,030.

The New Zealand Education Initiative (NZEI) says 86 percent of teachers have been offered a pay increase of just 2.2 to 2.6 percent a year for three years.

RadioLIVE's Ryan Bridge questions whether a professional with an average starting wage of more than $90,000 should be asking for more money.

But one of our listeners, Kathy called in - her husband is a principal of a medium-sized primary school.

A 60 hour week would be an exception.

"He goes to school just after five o'clock in the morning, and is usually home at around five o'clock at night. Those are days when he doesn't have meetings at night," she explained.

"The holidays are not 12 weeks of sitting around and doing nothing, there are courses that, not just the teachers, but the principals also go to to keep up to date with the latest teaching techniques, and the ways of teaching children with special needs - all of those children need extra input and it is given willingly and with training during their holidays.

"People are reluctant to take on the extra work for the minimal amount that they will be earning," Kathy told RadioLIVE.

Listen to the full interview above.

Drive with Ryan Bridge and Ingird Hipkiss, filling infor Lisa Owen, 3pm - 6pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.