Primary school teachers have today announced they are prepared to strike to get a significant pay hike.
A pay deal with the government ends next year, but teachers say they aren't prepared to accept a raise of between just one and two per cent.
At a conference in Rotorua this morning, teacher representatives from the NZ Education Institute Te Riu Roa union voted to take action if they don't get what they want.
"Right now, children are missing out on some opportunities to learn because their teachers are bogged down in administration and testing, or are struggling to get support for children with additional needs," NZEI president Lynda Stuart said.
"To make matters worse, children are increasingly in doubled up classes because their school can’t find enough teachers.
"Teachers and principals are fed up with seeing children miss out on the education they deserve and we’re tired of trying to hold the system together when it's broken."
Collective agreements for primary principals and teachers are up for negotiation in the middle of next year.
NZEI Te Riu Roa members will begin paid union meetings to form a claim from term from next year.