Primary teachers’ union NZEI Te Riu Roa says it will be considering the Ministry’s offers very carefully in light of the crisis in recruitment and retention of teachers, and the heavy workload that is driving many out of the profession.
The union has been frustrated that the revised offers are only slightly different from what was previously offered in November, with the government making no change to the total amount of spending available for a settlement.
However, the Ministry believes the new offers address the NZEI’s pay and workload concerns, and provide a new option for primary principals.
Deputy Secretary for Early Learning and Student Achievement Ellen MacGregor-Reid says the Employment Relations Authority has described the offer as ‘handsome and competitive’. The offer was made within the $698 million package available to reach a settlement, whereas it would cost $2.5 billion to address the NZEI’s claims, she says.
Primary teachers and principals had been scheduled to vote on the offers at paid union meetings throughout the week of 18 March, but those meetings were cancelled out of respect for the victims of the terror attacks in Christchurch.
Primary teachers and principals will now vote on the offers in an online ballot. Voting will close at 6pm on 5 April, with the results to be announced next week.