Local teachers to strike

That Wanaka Tree. Photo: Nikki Heath / Wanaka Sun

Local primary schools will close on Wednesday, August 15 as teachers vote to strike.

The New Zealand Educational Institute announced on Wednesday that primary teacher and principal members have voted to extend the planned nationwide strike on August 15 from three hours to a full day.

Wanaka primary school teachers will be joining the strike action citing three main issues for the action: support, time and pay.

In collective agreement negotiations, principals and teachers had asked for more time to teach and lead, more support for children with additional learning needs, and a pay jolt to stem the teacher shortage.

The lead negotiator for principals, Louise Green, said teachers and principals were very conscious of the inconvenience for students and families, “but we’re taking action now to avert the very real threat of larger class sizes within just a few years.”

“We want to be able to give every student a quality education that meets their needs, and our parent communities understand that ,” Louise said.

“Primary teachers have not taken industrial action in New Zealand since 1994 and the fact that we are taking such a step shows the grave concerns we have for the future of quality public education. The Government needs to take some courageous decisions now for the sake of children and their learning.”

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Pictured: That Wanaka Tree. Photo: Nikki Heath / Wanaka Sun

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