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Kua tae te wā - It's time.

This year, we've continued to make the message loud and clear – it’s time. Time to lead, teach and learn.

This means freeing teachers to teach so every child receives the personal attention they need to learn and thrive. It means freeing principals to focus on leading and it means ensuring we have enough teachers by attracting more people to teaching, by respecting them as professionals and paying them properly.

As we've gone through negotiations for the Primary Teachers’ and Principals' Collective Agreements, we’ve stood together for our students and for an education system that values, attracts and retains the amazing teachers and principals who are entrusted with the education of our children.

Throughout this important campaign it’s been crucial that every member has had their say.

On 26 June 2019, primary teachers voted to ratify their settlement.

We didn’t get everything we wanted for teachers, but we made substantial progress.

We secured a significant pay increase and pay parity through a unified pay scale across the state schooling sector. We addressed longstanding barriers to pay progression for teachers with different qualifications. We also won eight teacher only days across three years, without the extension of the school year, and a reduction in some of the more burdensome appraisal requirements.

We also got a commitment from government to work on the outstanding issues of wellbeing and workload. This joint accord will enable us to work with the government and hold them to account on these issues.

Disappointed primary principals, however, voted to reject a settlement that was largely unchanged from a previously rejected offer.

Unfortunately, the Government did not offer primary principals parity with their secondary principal colleagues and have not adequately addressed their complex workload issues. That clearly isn’t fair, so they have voted to fight on for a better offer.

Primary principals have incredibly complex jobs, and we have significant issues in our smaller schools, particularly our rural schools and kura.

Therefore, we're urgently seeking a return to the negotiating table in order to resolve the principals' issues, and in the meantime will actively consult with principal members on next steps.

Latest offers

Following our historic strike action on 29 May and intervention from the Minister, primary teacher and principal members voted on new proposed settlements.

Primary teachers have voted to ratify their settlement. Principals have voted to reject theirs.

Use our primary teacher pay increase calculator to find out what your salary will be in July 2021.

The problems we're trying to solve are big ones. But we've got a plan to negotiate and campaign for what's needed to make it right.

Principals' workloads are becoming more and more complex, and with that complexity comes an even greater workload. We've commissioned an ongoing study into principals' health and wellbeing.

Survey: Principals are making cuts in 2018

We asked principals how their 2018 budgets were shaping up. We've learned that many are planning to make cuts to teacher aides' hours and positions just to make ends meet for their schools. Meanwhile, there just aren't enough teachers to fill positions or do relieving work. 

Campaign timeline

  • September, 2017

    NZEI Annual Conference 2017

    Members at NZEI Te Riu Roa Annual Conference declare that It’s Time to address long-standing workload, learning support and recruitment/retention (pay and career path) issues and commit to rolling out a major campaign that will be driven by members.

  • Term 4, 2017

    The campaign plan is developed

    Member leaders in all regions start working on local planning and development for rolling out the campaign.

    • Members of the negotiating team are selected
    • NZEI Te Riu Roa begins gathering campaign information and research about issues and starts releasing this to the media to show the depth of issues already facing the teaching profession
    • A report on the 2nd principals, APs and DPs hauora survey  is released showing growing issues in health and wellbeing
  • March, 2018

    Members vote on the plan

    Paid union meetings are held for teachers and principals to discuss and vote on the final campaign plan, refined after member feedback.  This includes the proposed approach to negotiations.

  • March & April, 2018

    Bargaining is initiated

    Letters of initiation for the Primary Principals' and Primary Teachers' Collective Agreements are sent to the Ministry of Education

  • April 16, 2018

    Primary principals' negotiations begin

  • May 8, 2018

    Primary teachers' negotiations begin

  • May 16, 2018

    Primary Principals' Collective Agreement expires

  • May & June, 2018

    The Ministry makes its first offers

    The first offers for settlement of the principals' and teachers' collective agreements are received from the Ministry of Education

  • June 8, 2018

    Primary Teachers' Collective Agreement expires

  • June, 2018

    The decision to strike

    Paid union meetings are held across the country for teachers and principals to vote on the offers received from the Ministry and to vote on potential strike action. Principals and teachers vote to strike for 3 hours. 

  • July, 2018

    Te Kahui Whetu-Miro Māori members analyse campaign and identify some next steps for Māori, including whānau engagement.

  • July term break

    A strong call from members to lengthen the time for the strike is discussed in online fora.

  • July 30, 2018

    A ballot to extend the strike

    Members vote via an online ballot for strike action to be extended to a full day (up from 3 hours). 

  • August 3, 2018

    Community day of action

    Members across the country hold events to highlight the campaign to parents and explain why the strike is necessary.

  • August 15, 2018

    Full day strike action

    Primary teachers and principals hold full day strike action. The first strike in over 24 years. 

  • August, 2018

    Negotiations with the Ministry continue

  • September 10, 2018

    New offers from the Ministry

    NZEI Te Riu Roa receives new offers for primary teachers and principals.

  • September 25, 2018

    Members reject the Ministry's new offers

    Primary teachers and principals voted in an online ballot to reject the Ministry's new offers.

  • October 16-25, 2018

    Secret ballot on new strike action

    Members vote to undertake a week of rolling one-day strikes in the week of November 12.

  • November 8, 2018

    Facilitation and new offers

    After four days of facilitation, the Ministry of Education made new offers to teachers and principals.

  • November 12-16, 2018

    Rolling strike action

    Primary teachers and principals hold a week of rolling one-day strikes.

  • November 27 - December 4, 2018

    Members reject the Ministry's new offers

    Primary teachers and principals voted in an online ballot to reject the Ministry's new offers.

  • February, 2019

    Negotiations with the Ministry continue

  • February 27, 2019

    New offers from the Ministry

    NZEI Te Riu Roa receives a new offers for primary teachers and principals.

  • March 18-22, 2019

    Paid union meetings

    Primary principal and teacher members planned to hold a round of paid union meetings on the week of the 18th of March, during which a vote would be taken on the latest offers from the Ministry. 

  • March 18, 2019

    Paid union meetings postponed

    The March paid union meetings are postponed in the wake of the mass shootings in Christchurch. A decision is made to allow members to vote on the latest offers via electronic ballot instead.

  • April 1-5, 2019

    Electronic ballot on new offers

    Primary teachers and principals voted in an online ballot to reject the Ministry's new offers.

  • May 6-10, 2019

    The decision to strike

    Paid union meetings are held across the country for teachers and principals to vote in a secret ballot on potential strike action. Principals and teachers vote in favour of joint strike action with the PPTA.

  • May 29, 2019

    Strike action

    Primary teachers and principals hold a nationwide full-day strike.

  • June 6-13, 2019

    Joint talks with the Minister

    Following the strike action, NZEI and the PPTA enter joint negotiations with the Minister of Education.

  • June 14, 2019

    Proposed settlements from the Ministry

    NZEI Te Riu Roa receives new settlement offers for primary teachers and principals, and a proposed education sector accord between NZEI, PPTA and the Ministry.

  • June 19-25, 2019

    Electronic ballot on proposed settlements

    Primary teachers voted in an online ballot to ratify their proposed settlement, but primary principals voted to reject theirs.

  • July 2, 2019

    Principals deliver letters to the Ministry

    Primary school principals hand-delivered letters to Ministry of Education offices across the country to show their determination to take action.