A school principal says he works 70 hours per week just to keep his school running and fulfill ministry requirements, as the NZEI union continues industrial action calling for better pay.
NZEI teacher members accepted a settlement offer with the Government last week, but principal members says they still feel undervalued.
This week, about 2000 principals signalled their intention to disengage from doing extra Ministry of Education-related work, including work groups and meetings on curriculum reform, digital technology and professional learning.
Speaking this morning to TVNZ1's Breakfast programme, Langholm Primary School principal Martyn Weatherill said he has to work extended hours, and that those hours come only from goodwill.
"It requires goodwill to keep it going - the well of goodwill is dry," he said.
The 70 hours he typically works each week are made up of 50 hours running his school, and a further 20 hours participating in the ministry-related activities.
Mr Weatherill said he knew of a principal member who had quit his job because the workload was affecting his health.
"The workload is figuratively, if not literally, killing them," he said.
"This is not actually about the money, it is about ensuring the stability of the education sector, which I would have thought was a key role of the Ministry of Education."
He said he believes teachers are now happy with their settlement, and feel valued - but that only makes principals feel less valued.
"There are quite a few principals, particularly of smaller schools, going, 'Why am I doing this?'"