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Year in Review: Nurses, teachers, factory workers and more use strikes to make their demands heard in 2018

Teachers, nurses, bus drivers, factory workers and ministry officials – they’re all just some of the estimated 70,000 workers who have gone on strike in the past 12 months.

All in different jobs with different demands, but the cry was much the same.

Dr Stephen Blumenfeld of Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work said plenty wanted their voices heard this year.

"We certainly had a lot more strikes this year and certainly more threatened strikes this year than we've had for many, many years in the past, going back 20 or more years now."

One of the largest, when 30,000 nurses left the wards in July, was the industry's first strike in 30 years.

It took five different offers before a settlement was finally reached but throughout the many negotiations, The government's line has stayed the same.

"There’s no money," Winston Peters, David Clark and Chris Hipkins all said at different points.

Government blames nine years of underfunding but National has a different theory, saying expectations are promises were high.

But Dr Blumenfeld says it's just comes down to timing.

"It just so happens that an awful lot of collective agreements especially large coverage collective agreements have expired this year."

He expects more strikes next year, especially with teachers still unhappy.

Primary teachers have already walked off the job twice this year, including a one week rolling strike but now there are plans underway for a superstrike next year which would also Include secondary teachers.

Experts say the public has largely been supportive of those striking, Dr Blumenfeld warns that could change.

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It’s estimated over 70,000 Kiwi workers took to the streets this year to make their demands. Source: 1 NEWS


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