Strike action continues

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Industrial action by post primary educators continues with a series of ongoing work stoppages.
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High school students across the district will be impacted by regional rolling stoppages this month as part of ongoing industrial action by educators.

The first of the action starts from today with the rostering home of all Year 11 students.

A full Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) strike is planned Canterbury-wide for Tuesday.

Ashburton College principal Ross Preece said, in a notification to the college community, that PPTA had given notice of further industrial action during Term 2 which included the national rostering home of year level groups, as well as a further strike day for union members.

The strike will see secondary schools closed on Tuesday (May 9) for Canterbury Strike Action. It is also the Year 12 national rostered day home.

Ashburton educators took to the streets during a full educators strike in March.

Rostering home continues next week with all Year 13 students rostered off on Thursday, May 11, followed by all Year 9 on Tuesday, May 16 and all Year 10 on Wednesday, May 17.

Buses will run as usual.

Mr Preece said external courses such as Gateway, Ara or work placements would still run as normal and were not affected by rostering home.

He said if the PPTA Union rostering home or strike did not occur due to settlement between the Ministry of Education and the PPTA, the school community would be notified.

‘‘We acknowledge that this is disruptive and we appreciate and thank you for your understanding,’’ he said.

PPTA Te Wehengarua negotiating team member Kieran Gainsford said after 11 months of employment negotiations there had been no satisfactory progress on some major issues.

“There is a worsening shortage of secondary teachers, and we need salary rates and conditions that will keep teachers in the classroom, attract graduates to choose secondary teaching as a career, and encourage former teachers to return to the job they love.

“Every day the collective agreement remains unsettled, the further our pay and conditions slip backward and the more difficult it is to encourage people to stay in teaching or to come teaching. It is fantastic and incredibly important work, but it needs to be valued appropriately.”

This term PPTA members in secondary and area schools around the country will continue to refuse giving up their scheduled planning and marking time to relieve for absent teachers or positions that are vacant. They will also not attend meetings outside regular school hours.

Negotiations between PPTA Te Wehengarua and the Ministry of Education are now being facilitated by a member of the Employment Relations Authority.

New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) primary school teachers have been voting on an improved offer for their collective employment agreement. Nationwide voting closed this week.

Their negotiating team received a third collective agreement offer from the Ministry of Education with welcomed movement on several key issues, NZEI Te Riu Roa said.

NZEI primary and area school principals also began their own industrial action this term with a two month work ban, which includes a pause on all Ministerial work principals normally do, such as implementing the Curriculum Refresh, or collecting or collating information on behalf of the Ministry.

The ban also includes any work outside 8am to 5pm weekdays apart from board meetings, and all work on weekends.

It does not include work directly impacting on the learning and wellbeing of learners in their schools.

Full strike day:

Tuesday, May 9, Canterbury Strike Action