Striking for children with additional needs

By Online News - Rereātea
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty
Pictured: Hinei Taute-Collier, Principal of Whakarewarewa School at today's teachers' strike in Rotorua.

Primary teachers and principals are in their second day of striking, after turning down the government's latest pay offer of $700 million.

Educators picketing in Rotorua this morning are meeting to discuss the offer.

Principal of Whakarewarewa School, Hinei Taute-Collier attended this morning's strike and says one of her main concerns is that there's "not enough teachers or support staff to help our children with additional needs".

"We've got children in our school that have literacy struggles, they have numeracy struggles but also social struggles. They're coming from communities that have a challenge with what we know is a whole lot of social issues."

Taute-Collier says teachers are left to find their own way of helping the students who are in need the most. 

"We're trying to work uniquely, independently and one-on-one with students that need the most effort but there's not enough of us.  The government tried to say that we'd have new job positions coming into our schools to support students with additional needs, that is not enough."

Teachers on strike in major centres around the country today say the government offer is welcome but isn't addressing the problems they are faced with on a daily basis. 

Strikes will continue through to Friday. 

Teachers' strike in Rotorua today.

Teachers stand as one in Palmerston North

Meanwhile, in Palmerston North, teachers and principals rallied together to deliver the message that they aren't settling for the Government's latest pay offer.

Hundreds came together in preparation for a unified march. Among the crowd were Māori teachers Jamie Taylor and Kapene Kereopa. They say it's only right that the Government does more to meet their needs.

Taylor says there's a lack of resources for students and there's a low number of relief teachers in primary schools throughout the country.