2 August 2018
Dear Parent(s)/ Caregiver(s),
Primary teachers and principals voted overwhelmingly to strike on 15 August 2018.
At our school, our teachers grappled with the ethical and professional considerations around striking. It was not an easy decision for us and in making the decision to strike we are asking our families to support us. Although the strike could be viewed through a partisan political lens, we are clear that there are sound educational reasons for striking. Teachers and principals appreciate the inconvenience of strike action on some families. Members did not take the decision lightly. Primary teachers have not taken industrial action in New Zealand since 1994 and the fact that we are taking such a step now shows the grave concerns we have for the future of quality public education.
- Our school will be closed on 15th August.
- KAS will operate a 'holiday' programme on that day. Please book via their office/ website.
- We will notify the bus companies today and publish any updates in the newsletter.
- Our support staff will NOT be on site on the 15th. The school will be closed - except for KAS in the hall.
- We are notifying parents of the strike via several media. ( School road sign; school website; school newsletters; school app, in seesaw and by emailing parents.). If the strike is called off we will notify parents via the same media platforms.
Why are teachers striking?
Both primary teachers and principals are determined to send a strong message to the Government and demand change so our students can have a teacher in every classroom, the learning support they need and teachers are recognised as the professionals they are. You can read more about what we’re asking for here.
Both primary teachers and principals feel the Ministry’s June offers did not address workload issues, extra learning support or ways to stem the growing crisis in recruiting and retaining teachers.
Both primary teachers and principals voted overwhelmingly in June to reject the Ministry’s offers and to hold three-hour strikes on 15 August. The feeling was so strong that the National Executive then balloted to replace the 3-hour strikes with full-day strikes. Both groups of members have now voted to undertake the full-day strikes on 15 August.
This is not just about salaries - although that is an important component of it. One of our colleagues who has 20 years experience remarked that her children started work (not teaching) on a salary $20k higher than hers, despite her 20 years of service.
This strike is also about the student to teacher ratios, support for special needs students, increases in school funding so that teachers have the resources to make a difference, excessive workloads and rapidly declining numbers of new teachers joining the workforce. It’s already extremely hard and sometimes impossible to find relievers when teachers are sick. We’re already seeing classes combined or split up and spread around the school. Something has to change, and soon.
Is a strike lawful?
Yes, strikes are legal under the Employment Relations Act. (see the definition)
Who made the decision to close Bombay School on the 15th?
It was a Board of Trustee's decision. Mr Petersen and Mrs Stafford-Bush's vote was not counted, in accordance with conflict of interest guidelines.
Do we have to make up the time at the end of the year?
No. Under Section 65A of the Education Act 1989 when a school is closed for instruction because of strike action, the school is deemed to be open in terms of counting days.
On behalf of the entire team, I would like to thank everyone who has offered support. We appreciate it.
P 09 236 1012 | F 09 236 0458 | E firstname.lastname@example.org