Campaign plan, claims and negotiations

Teachers and principals in primary and area schools are currently negotiating their next collective agreements. This process is about deciding how your collective agreement - the agreement between employees and the Ministry of Education - will look for the next two years.

Members are clear: we must make teaching an attractive and valued profession.

The campaign plan

Teachers and principals have consistently raised high workloads, lack of support for students with additional learning and behavioural needs, and undervaluing of the profession as key issues over the last few years. We have tried to address these issues through previous rounds of negotiations and through work programmes.

Although we've made some progress, it has been insufficient to address the deep-seated and fundamental issues facing our profession. This has led to a crisis in recruitment and retention of teachers and principals.

So our Kua Tae Te Wā/It's Time campaign has been launched to achieve the significant investment we need so that all children can reach their potential, and teaching is an attractive, valued and well-supported profession.

Together we need to build strong community support to ensure the government understands that this crisis can only be solved by major investment.

We will do this by:

  1. Talking with parents and explain how the crisis will affect their children's learning.
  2. Speaking out to the media and on social media about our campaign.
  3. Meeting with MPs and other people who can influence change to ask them to support us.

Once we have run a successful campaign, we will be able to negotiate with the Ministry of Education to deliver new staffing and resourcing to all schools as well as improvements to our collective agreements.

Claims and negotiations

Our recent survey showed a very high level of support for taking a different approach to these negotiations, by focussing on just a few key issues. From this, we have developed four objectives that we will be taking into negotiations.

For teachers and principals in primary schools these objectives and possible solutions will form the basis for negotiating to renew the collective agreements.

For teachers and principals in area schools, we will be seeking a variation to introduce changes to the collective agreements before they expire and so you receive improvements at the same time as primary teachers and principals. Find out more about our claims for area school teachers and principals.

There are four main issues we're focusing on:

  • the crisis in education
  • time and workload
  • issues with salary and relativities
  • career development

Fixing the teacher shortage crisis

Schools are struggling to attract and retain great teachers. There is also a drop in the number of people choosing to train as teachers. This is happening because of years of political undervaluing of the profession. It won't just fix itself.

What we want

  • Significant pay increases for teachers and principals over the course of the agreement.

Draft solution

  • A 16% pay rise over the two years of this agreement.
  • A renewal of the pay parity clauses ensuring that primary teachers aren't worse off than their post-primary colleagues


Time to teach, time to lead

Teachers and principals are facing immense pressure thanks to enormous workloads and more responsibilities without any additional staffing or time.

There aren't enough resources available for supporting children with additional learning needs.

Teachers and principals need time to teach, and time to lead.

What we want

  • Significant increases to staffing available to all schools to support leaders, classroom teachers and teachers working with students with additional learning needs.

Draft solution

  • A new teacher staffing and resourcing entitlement for schools to employ and train a SENCO.
  • More resource teacher positions nationwide, to better reflect student need.
  • Reducing the teacher:student ratio for year 4-8 students from 1:29 down to 1:25.
  • Ensuring that all schools have a minimum of 2 full time equivalent staff.
  • Increasing the professional leadership staffing entitlement for schools
  • Replace classroom release time (CRT) with Professional Practice Time (PPT) equivalent to 20 hours per full time equivalent teacher per term.
  • More teacher resourcing for each class to give the regular teacher time to complete professional responsibilities, such as assessment, that are difficult to do whilst responsible for a class.

Fixing issues with relativities and career development

Options for career development can vary a lot from school to school, which means that teachers aren't getting the same chances to grow in the profession.

At the moment, there are some issues with relativity, and there is limited recognition for teachers and principals with specialist skills.

Both these factors are contributing to the teacher shortage crisis.

What needs to change

  • Fix existing pay arrangements for principals
  • Fix existing relativity issues
  • Create meaningful new career options for teachers and principals

Draft solution

  • Fold U1 and U2 U-Grade principal salary into U3 to address an immediate relativity issue
  • Allow Communities of Learning to share the leadership allowance with multiple leaders, including people covered by the PTCA
  • Remove the qualification based salary cap for primary teachers
  • Inreoduce recognition for teachers working in Pasifika immersion settings
  • Fully recognise expertise in tikanga and te reo Maōri
  • Recognise expertise in special education
  • Then move to focussing on curriculum specialisation

What you can do now

Here's how to stay up to date on the campaign, and how you can take part.

Get your colleagues on board

Discuss this campaign and the plan with your colleagues. Make sure you've got a plan to take part in any meetings or activities.

Check if any of your colleagues need to join NZEI. It only takes a few minutes to join up.

Have your say

Your negotiating team want to keep you informed and close to the decisions as we move into the next phase of the campaign.

NZEI Members are encouraged to speak to their Worksite Rep and share their views.
Worksite Reps can now join a weekly video conference - these will take place every Wednesday evening. Contact your field officer for more details.

NZEI Members can sign up to Loomio then join the Kua Tae Te Wā discussion.

(Once signed up you can see the front page of the group, which displays no information. Go to the top right and you will see a 'join group' button. Click this, it will ask you why you want to join. Because the group is closed to non-members, entry to the group is moderated and there might be a short delay until a moderator approves your request - probably a few minutes during the working day.
After approval Loomio will show an alert notification at the top of the screen a bell - you will need to refresh the group to see the open threads. There are a lot of threads in progress as well as polls - feel free to participate.)

Stay up to date

Make sure you keep up with campaign activity by keeping an eye on our website, your email, and social media. Give our Facebook page a like!

Watch out for these hashtags: #ItsTime #KuaTaeTeWa #NZEI