Teachers may need to consider cash for time 'trade-off' - Education Secretary

Morning Talk 05/12/2018

Primary school teachers will have to sacrifice some of their money for additional time, the Secretary for Education says.

Primary school teachers and principals voted to reject the Ministry of Education's third pay offer, citing that they need to be paid fairly and get the time and support needed to ensure a quality education.

Iona Holsted, Ministry of Education secretary for education told RadioLIVE that something has got to give, and if they want time to be addressed, they'll have to make some sacrifices.

"That’s what a negotiation is," Ms Holsted said.

Signs from the secondary teachers' strike this year.

South Wellington Intermediate School principal Traci Liddall told RNZ that teachers spend an hour on planning for every hour spent in the classroom.

"Secondary school teachers get a day a week for planning. We're asking for an extra day a term," she said.

Nevertheless, Ms Holsted says the third offer is "really fair" for teacher wages, particularly given the work that the Government is doing to address concerns about the workload.  

The Government's measures include:

  • An extra $500 million for learning support
  • $40 million to boost teacher supply in the short to medium term
  • Developing a long-term education workforce strategy
  • Working with a joint workforce to identified administrative tasks that can be reduced in favour of more time to teach
  • Rolling out a programme for education professionals' wellbeing

Minister for Education Chris Hipkins said the Government had anticipated the ballot results.

"The Government is committed to settling this dispute. I encourage NZEI to come back to the bargaining table to negotiate how they want to reconfigure the offer," he said.

Listen to the full interview with Iona Halsted above.

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