Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Times of Georgia
HomePolitical"Disheartened And Dispirited" Educators Upset, Uncertain Following Public Sector Pay Restriction Announcement

“Disheartened And Dispirited” Educators Upset, Uncertain Following Public Sector Pay Restriction Announcement


Educators across the country are shocked that the
Government has chosen to restrict public servants’ pay for a
further three years, says education union NZEI Te Riu
Roa.

Teachers, principals and support staff, and a
huge range of other education professionals, are all set to
be affected by the announcement.

NZEI Te Riu Roa
President Liam Rutherford says the decision is concerning,
and unfair on educators who have played a key role in our
COVID-19 recovery.

“Over the last year we’ve already
seen the impact of this policy on our learning support staff
members, who provide individualised support for school
children with specific needs. They are currently negotiating
their own collective agreement – and these pay restrictions
have made it incredibly difficult for them to make headway
with their legitimate claims.

“We’ve all seen that our
educators have really gone the extra mile to support our
tamariki and our communities during the pandemic – working
extra hours, innovating quickly, and emotionally supporting
and reassuring children and their whānau. To be thanked
like this, with an announcement that they shouldn’t expect
even standard pay progression in their upcoming
negotiations, is truly shocking.

“Our teachers’ and
principals’ collective agreements are set to be renegotiated
next year, within the timeframe of this announcement.
Understandably, they’re now worried and uncertain about
their prospects. Since yesterday morning our members have
been flooding our phonelines wanting clarification on how
this will affect them. They’re disheartened and
dispirited.

“In the last round of collective agreement
negotiations, our teachers and principals received a
significant pay correction that has brought them closer to
their counterparts elsewhere in the public sector. But
without ongoing pay increases, they’ll quickly fall behind
again – we’ve achieved too much now to return to
that.

“As New Zealand recovers from COVID-19, it’s
unacceptable for us to leave any of our public servants, who
have cared for us and supported us throughout the pandemic,
behind.”

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