Teachers want to be valued

Education cannot wait for the ‘next 10 years’.

Education cannot wait for the ‘next 10 years’.

TEACHERS PROTEST: Primary teachers took to the streets yesterday during the teachers and principals strike. Car horns and chanting filled the city streets as the community showed support. Pictures by Liam Clayton
SHAKING THEIR THUNDER STICKS: Striking primary teachers meant business as they took to Gisborne’s streets yesterday with their pay and resources message, “It’s time”.
Teachers strike.
Teachers Strike - Motu & Waikirikiri.
PASSIONATE AND BICULTURAL: Gisborne primary teachers and principals had a sense of humour, despite the seriousness of their demands, with placards such as ‘‘I became a teacher for the money and fame. Yeah Right!’’ during yesterday’s protest, which saw more than 400 educators and NZEI members take to the streets in a one-day strike — the first industrial action taken by New Zealand teachers in 24 years.

“Value teachers before it’s too late,” was the message sent loud and clear during the primary teachers and principals strike yesterday.

A cacophony of car horns and chanting could be heard across Gisborne streets as teachers and principals put on a passionate display.

Minister of Education Chris Hipkins said on Tuesday the teachers’ claim for a 16 perent pay rise over two years was “significantly higher than anybody else is getting”, adding: “There is going to have to be significant movement on their side.”

Yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke to marchers outside Parliament in Wellington, placing herself on the same side as the teachers.

“There is no you and us,” she declared.

“There is only us, and if there is only us that means we have to tackle every challenge that you have raised.”

NZEI executive member and Wainui Beach School teacher Claire Scott said they could not wait for the next 10 years for the Government to fix the problems in education.

“If they are saving education funding for a rainy day, guess what . . . a tsunami is coming!”

“We have got teachers leaving the profession in high numbers around the country, not just in Auckand,” she said.

“There are 40 percent fewer people training to become teachers in our country.”

Poverty Bay Branch NZEI president Jonathan Poole said it was awesome to see so many passionate educators, parents and support staff turn out to have their collective voice heard.

“The support from our community was fantastic, with many people tooting and yelling support for our cause.”

There was a real buzz from all of the district’s teachers and it was time to make a change, to shake up the teaching profession and make it an attractive option as a career choice again, he said.

“We want the best possible teachers in front of our children.

“We are also fighting for a much- needed resourcing boost to address the inequities that exist in our profession, particularly in special education and for children who have learning difficulties, providing time for teachers to teach, reducing class numbers so every child receives the quality education they deserve.”

Ms Scott said this was not just about pay.

“It is about what we need to do for the kids in our care”

“Today we are taking a step that we haven’t taken in 24 years. We don’t take this step lightly.”

Organisers grateful for show of support

Yesterday, more than 400 teachers and registered members of the Poverty Bay Branch of the NZEI Te Riu Roa gathered at Gisborne Cosmopolitan Club. Executive member of the Poverty Bay Branch of the NZEI and Riverdale School acting principal Raniera Koia opened the official strike with a prayer and introduced the speakers at the bicultural and passionate rally.

Teia Kopu, from the Maori Branch of the Poverty Bay NZEI, gave a health and safety briefing before the group dispersed into smaller groups and headed to strategic vantage points across Gisborne.

The strike ended at Kelvin Park and Mr Poole said he thought it had been a “great success”.

“The Government needs to invest in education to ensure the future of our children, teachers, principals and support staff, so that our education system is a great one.”

“Today has been a start but we need to continue to put the pressure on the Government to fund education properly.

“Whether today’s strike will see the Ministry come back with a better offer, we will just have to wait and see.”

“If they don’t, then further action will have to be taken,” he said.

“We are grateful for the support of parents and whanau and want to thank them as we do everything in our collective power to make the changes that will benefit all of our children.”

“Value teachers before it’s too late,” was the message sent loud and clear during the primary teachers and principals strike yesterday.

A cacophony of car horns and chanting could be heard across Gisborne streets as teachers and principals put on a passionate display.

Minister of Education Chris Hipkins said on Tuesday the teachers’ claim for a 16 perent pay rise over two years was “significantly higher than anybody else is getting”, adding: “There is going to have to be significant movement on their side.”

Yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke to marchers outside Parliament in Wellington, placing herself on the same side as the teachers.

“There is no you and us,” she declared.

“There is only us, and if there is only us that means we have to tackle every challenge that you have raised.”

NZEI executive member and Wainui Beach School teacher Claire Scott said they could not wait for the next 10 years for the Government to fix the problems in education.

“If they are saving education funding for a rainy day, guess what . . . a tsunami is coming!”

“We have got teachers leaving the profession in high numbers around the country, not just in Auckand,” she said.

“There are 40 percent fewer people training to become teachers in our country.”

Poverty Bay Branch NZEI president Jonathan Poole said it was awesome to see so many passionate educators, parents and support staff turn out to have their collective voice heard.

“The support from our community was fantastic, with many people tooting and yelling support for our cause.”

There was a real buzz from all of the district’s teachers and it was time to make a change, to shake up the teaching profession and make it an attractive option as a career choice again, he said.

“We want the best possible teachers in front of our children.

“We are also fighting for a much- needed resourcing boost to address the inequities that exist in our profession, particularly in special education and for children who have learning difficulties, providing time for teachers to teach, reducing class numbers so every child receives the quality education they deserve.”

Ms Scott said this was not just about pay.

“It is about what we need to do for the kids in our care”

“Today we are taking a step that we haven’t taken in 24 years. We don’t take this step lightly.”

Organisers grateful for show of support

Yesterday, more than 400 teachers and registered members of the Poverty Bay Branch of the NZEI Te Riu Roa gathered at Gisborne Cosmopolitan Club. Executive member of the Poverty Bay Branch of the NZEI and Riverdale School acting principal Raniera Koia opened the official strike with a prayer and introduced the speakers at the bicultural and passionate rally.

Teia Kopu, from the Maori Branch of the Poverty Bay NZEI, gave a health and safety briefing before the group dispersed into smaller groups and headed to strategic vantage points across Gisborne.

The strike ended at Kelvin Park and Mr Poole said he thought it had been a “great success”.

“The Government needs to invest in education to ensure the future of our children, teachers, principals and support staff, so that our education system is a great one.”

“Today has been a start but we need to continue to put the pressure on the Government to fund education properly.

“Whether today’s strike will see the Ministry come back with a better offer, we will just have to wait and see.”

“If they don’t, then further action will have to be taken,” he said.

“We are grateful for the support of parents and whanau and want to thank them as we do everything in our collective power to make the changes that will benefit all of our children.”

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