November 22, 2018
Wage pie waiting for teacher carve-up
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says a settlement to the teachers pay dispute could be in the hands of teachers themselves.
Teachers struck last week over an offer they said didn't include enough money or address concerns about staffing and workload.
Ms Ardern says the Government is having to deal with a 40 percent drop in the number of teacher trainees during the last Government.
It is trying to bring back New Zealander teachers from overseas or recruit others if necessary, and there is also about $700 million on the table.
"The pay offer that's been put on the table I'm told brings primary school teachers into the top 20 percent of income earners in New Zealand, an average roughly of $10,000 extra once it's been fully rolled out, so definitely trying to lift the wages of teachers, trying to deal with all the additional paperwork and other things they have raised with us, but now we have essentially said to them, 'here is this pool of funding, if you wish to rework it in some other way, let's talk about that,' so I am hoping we will resolve it," she says.
Jacinda Ardern rejected criticism from National that her first year fees free policy had failed because of low Māori take up, saying many wānanga courses were free anyway, and that it would take a while for word of the programme to get out to potential tauira.
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