National’s spokesperson for Education Nikki Kaye is concerned for parents facing potentially multiple strikes over the next six months as a result of the Government’s lack of priority of teacher’s salaries and other funding.
“Primary teachers have today rejected the Government’s latest offer. This is the second offer that was refused and it means that parents may be facing two day primary school strikes.
“This is concerning for parents - strikes mean significant disruptions for families and learning.
“Some secondary teachers have also publicly criticized the Government’s pay offer. The secondary offer will be publicly announced next week but teachers tell me it’s not looking good. If there is no movement parents may face multiple strikes over the next six months.
“The Labour Government has not offered smaller class sizes or prioritised salaries and instead have chosen to spend $2.8 billion on an unsuccessful fees free policy for tertiary students.
“One of the issues with the offer is the lack of a firm funding commitment for special education coordinators in schools. Another problem is the reversal of existing rights around maternity grants in both primary and secondary pay offers.
“The Government promised a lot around resolving teacher’s shortages but has only provided two thirds of the funding for what it promised at the election.
“The Government has also sought to put teachers going on maternity leave in a worse position where they lose the ability to get a grant up front, instead they would have to wait until they come back to work for any support. This is really harsh for new mums and dads and we oppose this.
“The Government has raised expectations and needs to get back to the table and prioritise funding for teachers. The Government also needs to work with schools and parents to ensure there are adequate supervision arrangements for children during the strikes.”