The Ministry of Education has tabled new collective agreement offers for primary teachers and principals, who will hold secret online ballots next week to vote on whether to accept the offers.

NZEI Te Riu Roa members will consider whether the offers address their concerns about the growing teacher shortage and the inadequate support for children with additional learning needs.

The revised offer for primary teachers includes an increase to the base salary scale by three per cent each year from the date of settlement, for a three year term. Primary principals of schools with more than 100 students get the same offer, while principals with fewer than 100 students get an increase to their base salary scale by 4.5%+4.5%+4.4% a year.

The revised offer doesn’t include funding for supporting children with additional learning needs or provisions for reducing workloads or class sizes.

NZEI’s teacher lead negotiator Liam Rutherford said union leaders will not be making any recommendation to the membership about whether to accept or reject the offer.

“As teachers and principals we can see that the issues in our schools simply can’t wait any longer and our students’ learning is already being negatively affected because of the difficulty in recruiting and retaining teachers,” he said.

If the offers are rejected there will be further consultation with members, and at the NZEI Annual Conference in early October, where members will make recommendations about next steps.

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