What does the issue of sick leave mean for you as a teacher, and the tamariki you teach?

Increasing the amount of days to the current sick leave provision provides the opportunity for teachers to better self manage their own health and wellbeing while on the job.

Especially in these Covid times, I find I’m am continually struggling to balance my current sick leave entitlement, going to work sick so I can save days for when I’m forced to stay home with Covid related illness. Working while sick spreads colds and flu around the work environment which isn’t fair on my team or the tamariki. In this industry, teachers are constantly exposed to all the colds and flu that the tamariki bring in (partly due to parents having to work too), and we are exposed to 40+ possible opportunities on a daily basis.

The current 10 days entitlement doesn’t provide enough days to allow teachers to better manage their own wellbeing and health. Historically teachers have always had more than the bare minimum entitlement to equate for their increased exposure to germs on a daily basis. I would like to see this entitlement increased to reflect the current world health situation. Our tamariki, whanau, and our teaching teams deserve better than me turning up to work sick, just trying to get to the end of the day.

What will it take to fix sick leave for kindergarten teachers?

Increase the provision from 10 days to 20 days. Teachers have tamariki too and time off for managing their own whanau needs to be considered too.

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

My wellbeing will be catered for, my recovery from sickness will be faster and I will be a better teacher for it. I wont have to feel guilty for coming to work sick and passing it on to others. My better health and well being will also lead to more quality interactions with the tamariki.

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