What does the reliever shortage mean for you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?

My daughter just had a traumatic birth of her first baby . I needed to take a few days off to support her and tried to get a reliever but none were available. My experience as a head teacher is that a lot of the time especially if staff are sick in the morning it’s absolutely impossible get a reliever to cover. My team had to pick up the slack for me and for the tamariki and whānau at our kindergarten. I believe if the reliever cap* were removed we would have greater success employing and retaining our relievers.

*The pay cap that prevents relieving teachers being paid above step 6 of the pay scale, regardless of their level of experience.

What will it take to fix the reliever shortage?

Removal of the reliever cap and valuing our relievers more. Having permanent relievers would also help.

When we fix the reliever shortage, what impact will that change have on you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?

We will be able to take the time we need knowing that we have a reliever to cover us.

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