An open letter to Government signed by more than 500 principals is calling for funding needed to pay support staff and teacher aides.
According to NZEI Te Riu Roa President, Lynda Stuart it is an unprecedented show of solidarity for support staff who do integral work for children.
Lynda Stuart says, “This demonstrates the extent of principals’ concern for the teacher aides, librarians, administrators and others who are the lifeblood of schools and yet remain some of the lowest paid people in New Zealand.
We’ve signed this letter because we are extremely concerned about the impactthat the very low wages and low job security are having on our essential support staff and the follow on effect this has on our students.”
Te Riu Roa were hoping for a funding boost in last week’s budget as support staff are paid out of school operations grants.
Stuart says, “Support staff are in pay negotiations with the Ministry now and we principals firmly back their calls for a pay rise.
“But unless schools are funded to cover any pay increase many of us wuill feel we have no option other than to cut back on learning resources or cut the hours of teacher aides in an effort to aovid their higher rates of pay.”
Te Riu Roa believes unless the Government provides more funding the level and quality of education provided to children will suffer as a result.