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Teacher Strike - 15 August

Leamington School —

The teachers and principal unions have voted to strike on the afternoon of 15 August. There is a good chance the strike will become an all-day strike.

The teacher and principal unions have notified their members that following the recent stop-work meetings its members have voted to strike on the afternoon of Wednesday 15 August (Week 4 of Term 3.)  

There was support at the meetings across the country to make the strike an all-day event.  

The recent stop-work meetings have allowed us to provide supervision for the afternoon for children.  

The strike afternoon (or day TBC in the next few weeks by the Union) will provide no supervision for children.  

The need to strike is to gain traction and 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.