National | Education

Mega teacher's strike hits the country

Teachers strike in 2018. Source: Facebook

Close to 50,000 school teachers are taking to the streets around Aotearoa in the largest ever industrial action by New Zealand educators.

Major protests are expected to take place in main centres including Auckland and Wellington.

From 12pm thousands of primary and secondary school teachers are expected to march up Queen Street and rally at Aotea Square in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Organisers of the Auckland protest, Michael Cabral-Tarry and Hayden Eastmond-Mein say primary and secondary teachers across New Zealand are striking together for the first time ever because they desperately need better working conditions and better salaries.

"Our working conditions are our kids' learning conditions, and our whole country deserves better."

NZEI Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart says teachers want the government to prioritise addressing the education crisis.

"Giving teachers time to teach and to lead and ensuring teaching is a viable long-term career choice is essential if children are to get the teaching and learning they deserve," she says.

"We know we have enormous support from parents and we ask all New Zealanders to support us in our fight for the future of education in New Zealand."

Looking after students out of school

It's expected to be a disruptive day for families and businesses since working parents will need to find ways to accommodate children who are out of school.

Employers were advised to allow flexible working arrangements to enable employees to work from home.

Te Riu Roa lead negotiator Liam Rutherford says, “We’ve heard of examples where families are teaming up with each other to share the load, or we've got employers who are encouraging them to bring their children to work.

“At the extreme end, we've also had some parents who've said they’re going to take a day’s annual leave and come in and join in with the marchers and the rallies," she says.