Tips for contacting your MP
We need the government to listen to us, understand what we're saying, and take the bold action needed to address our claims for fair pay and fair work.
As support staff, we each have our own personal stories from our work. It's those real stories that we want you to share with your local MP.
This page is here to help you think about the best ways of communicating your story to your MP.
Crafting your messsage
Our jobs and the problems we face are complicated - and that can be really hard to communicate.
We have been clear that for too long, the crucial work of school support staff has been undervalued and insecure from one term to the next. If we want to value our children, we need to value our support staff.
This message has been really clear since the beginning and something the public has resonated with.
We need a long term solution for pay and job security and we need the government to step up and show that we are being valued.
When contacting an MP, think of how your story can illustrate one or more of these key themes.
Keep it simple
You can't cover everything in one contact.
The most powerful messages are often the shortest. Think of a story you have that might illustrate some of our broader themes and tell it as simply as possible.
Maybe you have an example of the pressures you face in school or regarding job security. Perhaps you have a story of a compromise you or your school has had to make. Or perhaps you've faced financial hardship because of rising living costs.
Put children at the centre
We put children at the centre of what we do every day - it's important we keep doing that when we communicate.
This campaign is about valuing those who make a difference for our children. It is important that we remind people that we're not just in this for ourselves, but for the country's children.
When communicating with your MP, tell them how the issues you're raising might have an impact on children's learning, or let them know the lengths you're having to go to in order to make sure children's learning isn't impacted.
Collective agreement and pay equity
We are currently working towards both a collective agreement settlement for all support staff and a pay equity settlement for teacher aides, with pay equity claims for other support staff roles.
Teacher aides are forging the pay equity path, so other support staff claims processes will be quicker. We need to put pressure on the government to get a settlement for teacher aides and a timeline for other support staff claims as soon as possible.
Make sure that when you are contacting your MP that you are clear about whether you are talking about your collective agreement negotiations or pay equity.
Understand your audience
MPs get a lot of correspondence, but they're more likely to be receptive if you've taken the time to learn more about them.
Take a bit of time to find out more about your MP and the issues they care about. And keep it polite!
If your local MP is in opposition (National), ask them what they're doing to put pressure on the Government. If you're talking to a Government MP (Labour, NZ First or Greens), ask them what they are doing to push for change with their colleagues.
Don't forget to be professional in your correspondence with your local MP. You want them to hear and understand your frustrations without anything being taken out on them.
How to contact your MP
Use this tool to find your electorate MP or Minister and send them an email.
These days, MPs are highly engaged on social media, so this is a great, direct medium to communicate with them. Find out who your MP is, then search for them on Facebook or Twitter and send them a message or public post. Make it even more engaging by including a photo. Use the hashtags #fairsfair and #manataurite.
If you don't know your electorate, find it here.