Topic: Rereātea - Midday News

Teachers reject latest pay offer

By Regan Paranihi

Teachers union NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart says members are still not happy with the latest pay offer as it will not fix the teacher recruitment crisis and retention.

"While the latest offer for teachers included a total salary increase of approximately $9,500 - $11,000 over three years, it failed to address the important issues of time and class size, which underpin the crisis in education."

She also says the current offer will not give teachers more teaching time or principals more leading time.

"From the beginning of this process, we've been clear that to attract and retain teachers we need to be paid fairly and have the time and support to ensure every child gets the best possible education."

NZEI members have been seeking a 16 percent pay rise over two years, but have been offered 9.3 percent over three years in which has been declined and are awaiting a new offer by Term 1.

Last month the Employment Relations Authority recommended the union accept the deal, describing the $698mil offer to be a ‘handsome and competitive’ one.

Education secretary Iona Holsted says, "We remain committed to continuing bargaining in good faith and minimising any further disruption for students' learning and parents remains a priority.  It is only by negotiation we will settle this long-running dispute."

She said they want to meet with the union to discuss options for reaching agreement within the $698mil package.