Teachers in the Bay of Plenty region will be going on strike again today.
The strike action comes after NZEI primary teachers, principals and some speech language therapists rejected the Ministry of Education’s offer in September.
There will be four meetings taking place in the Bay of Plenty, happening around 10am.
Te Puke and some Papamoa schools will be meeting at Orchard Church in Te Puke, and Mount Maunganui and Papamoa schools will be meeting at Curate in the Mount.
Tauranga Peninsula Community of Learning, alongside Otumoetai Schools through to Katikati will meet at the Bethlehem Baptist church with National Secretary of NZEI Te Riu Roa will be speaking at this meeting.
Kura kaupapa, Northen Health, BLENNZ and others will be meeting at Curate, Christopher Street in Tauranga.
“At the meeting, members will be discussing the offer most received on Friday afternoon, and talking about where to from here,” says NZEI representative for Bay of Plenty schools Andrea Andresen.
“After the meeting each gathering will be in a follow up activity. Te Puke schools’ staff are carrying out assorted community activities. The group meeting at the Bethlehem Baptist church are picketing near Moffat Road roundabout, the group meeting at Curate on Christopher Street are conducting a community clean up and will be picking up rubbish on the Waikareo walkways along Takitimu Drive.
“The group meeting at Curate in the Mount will be picketing near Mount New World. Some members will also be filling out and taking communications to the offices of Clayton Mitchell and the Labour MPs.”
Andrea says the main purpose of this strike was a protest at the insufficient action from the Minister of Education to meet the teacher shortage New Zealand is facing.
“It has been a campaign built mainly around three key claims: One: A pay jolt to attract more teachers into the profession, as training numbers have been in decline, and retain teachers who could be paid more in different jobs.
“Two: Time to teach and lead. Over the last few years the assessment and paperwork requirements for the teachers have increased exponentially.
“Many very good and experienced teachers are leaving because of the workload. Suggestions include additional release time for teachers or additional in class teacher time to enable teachers to carry out assessments with less impact on the learning of other students in the class.”
“Three: More support for students with learning needs, including a separately funded learning support teacher role. The Prime Minister announced 600 of these would be established as a beginning and this is a good start, although there are over 2000 schools. We acknowledge that some of the difficulty in implementing this is the teacher shortage itself.”
Schools effected by the teacher strike in the Bay of Plenty will be mainly primary and intermediate schools.
Secondary and Area schools will be open as they are covered by different agreements.