The teachers and principal unions have voted to strike all day on 15 August. No supervision of children will be provided.
The teacher and principal unions have notified their members that following a recent vote the strike action planned for Wednesday 15 August (Week 4 of Term 3) has become an all-day strike from 7 am to 7 pm.
The strike action will provide no supervision for children at school, including before and after school care. The disruption this will cause families is deliberate as it maximises attention for the issues facing the education sector and pressure on the Government.
The need to strike is to gain traction and draw attention to several big challenges facing the education sector at the moment.
1. We are facing imminent teaching shortages through a significant number of people not only leaving the profession due to better pay and conditions outside the sector but also considerably fewer people training to be teachers. In addition, in the next few years, there will be a significant number of teachers retiring as the baby boomers leave the workforce. Teacher shortages will likely result in increased class numbers.
2. Workload issues are becoming increasingly untenable. The administrative expectation to document more and more while catering to the individual needs of every student with no time to allow this to happen has to be addressed.
3. Catering for students with special needs is becoming more and more time-consuming. Schools get no financial or staffing allowance to employ people into these roles (Leamington is able to fund a SENCO purely through our size - however, this means the funds are not going to other places.)
The election campaign promised to prioritize these issues but after the budget, there was no mention of follow through. As a profession we believe that if we do not make a stand now for our profession and the education system in NZ, we will reach a tipping point that will take many years to recover from.