The Government announced yesterday that it will spend an additional $10.5 million to recruit 850 additional teachers for next year - bringing the total cost of this year's recruitment drive to $40 million.
But is it enough to avert another nationwide teachers strike? New Zealand Educational Institute president Lynda Stuart told Breakfast this morning that she's not so sure.
"We're welcoming the fact that the Government is acknowledging that we are in a crisis, and that we do have an extensive teacher shortage," the union leader said. "But what we're also saying is that probably isn't enough...There's some significant work that still needs to be done."
In a secret ballot last month, primary school teachers resoundingly rejected a pay offer from the Government that would have seen a three per cent per year raise for most of them. The vote sent a clear message that the offer needed to also address the teacher shortage, Ms Stuart said at the time.
The PPTA announcement increases the pressure on the government and could inconvenience parents nationwide.
Source: 1 NEWS
Teachers have left New Zealand to work overseas because of the conditions here, Ms Stuart said today.
"Yes, we need a significant pay jolt, and we acknowledge the Government has done some work towards that - not enough, as yet," she said. "But what is really concerning our membership is that nothing has been done around the workload issues that have been identified over a long period of time.
"Reducing class sizes, insuring that teachers get the support that they need for those children who have additional learning needs, insuring that they get the time that they need - non-contact time - to be able to really prepare and plan for those children, and to insure that we get the very, very best for each and every child in this country is what our teachers are crying out for.
"We know it costs money, but aren't our children in this country worth it? I believe so, and I think our public is saying that they believe so as well."
Education Minister Chris Hipkins sits down with Corin Dann to discuss pay and getting more teachers into our classrooms.
The plan announced yesterday by Education Minister Chris Hipkins aims to recruit 650 extra primary teachers and 200 extra secondary teachers.
"We are determined to pull out all the stops to meet next year's projected shortfall," Mr Hipkins said.
The overseas recruitment target has also been increased for 2019 from 400 up to 900.
A new ballot will be distributed to teachers tomorrow, and they'll have until Oct 25 to vote on accepting or rejecting the latest Government offer.
"Our members will tell us what they think about that," Ms Stuart said today. "I wouldn't be surprised if they reject this, but we'll see."