National | Education

Education Minister to meet with unions to address teachers' concerns

Mega-strike in Auckland. Source: File

The Minister of Education Chris Hipkins has made plans to meet with the leaders of The New Zealand Educational Institute Te Riu Roa (NZEI) and the Post-Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) next week.

It comes after the mega-strike on Wednesday when around 50,000 school teachers took to the streets around Aotearoa, desperately calling for better working conditions and higher paid salaries.

Hipkins says the Government is committed to taking action to address those concerns progressively over time.

#OVERFULL It was a tight squeeze for around 5,000 people who struggled to fit into Aotea Square, Auckland today during a teachers mega-strike protest.

Posted by Te Ao Māori News on Tuesday, May 28, 2019

In its newest offer, the Ministry of Education made a $1.2 billion offer to teachers, including an average salary increase of three per cent a year over three years. However, teachers are asking for a 16 per cent increase over two years.

“The issues being raised by teachers are many, varied and complex. These talks, set down for Thursday 6 June, will focus on how we can do this,” he says.

NZIE lead negotiator Liam Rutherford says, after strikes held earlier this week, the union would consider taking further industrial action.

"We are really looking forward to keeping conversations going with the government. We know that they’re interested in getting this resolved, but at the same time members will be considering the next steps, which mean further industrial action."