Press Release – NZEI
Thousands of kindergarten teachers will be attending paid union meetings over the next week to vote on whether to accept a final pay offer or take industrial action.30 November 2011 For Use December 1 2011
Kindergarten teachers to vote on whether to accept or reject final pay offer
Thousands of kindergarten teachers will be attending paid union meetings over the next week to vote on whether to accept a final pay offer or take industrial action.
Negotiations have been going on for much of the year.
The union representing kindergarten teachers, NZEI Te Riu Roa, says under the offer pay parity would be maintained but the Ministry of Education and kindergarten employers want to take away two hours of non-contact release time for teachers in sessional kindergartens.
NZEI spokesperson and lead negotiator Hayley Whitaker says that release time is essential in supporting teaching and learning and in the day-to-day management of kindergartens.
Earlier this year kindergarten teachers filled in professional time registers which were sent to the Minister of Education to highlight the sort of essential work that gets done during two hours of non-contact time.
“What came through is that teachers use their release time in a variety of valuable ways such as planning, record-keeping, administration, parent follow-ups, liaising with special education staff or other agencies, managing rolls, and displaying children’s learning,” says Ms Whitaker.
Kindergarten teachers will be asked at the paid union meetings to vote on whether to accept and ratify a proposed settlement or take industrial action.
NZEI says it’s very important that teachers exercise their legal right to attend a paid union meeting so that the vote is endorsed by a clear and strong majority.
The meetings are taking place in different parts of the country between 1-7 December. ENDS