Nurses’ solidarity with teachers over pay and stress

Nursing and teaching face similar issues over pay and stress says NZNO who support NZEI’s strong stand but encourages all parties to find an urgent solution that avoids strikes.

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation put out a statement on October 18 saying they supported the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) strong stand over pay that may result in rolling primary school teacher strikes in November. An electronic strike ballot is being conducted by NZEI from October 16-25 on whether to follow-up the August 15 strike with rolling strike action region by region on the week November 12-16.

NZEI has is seeking a 16 per cent pay increase over two years plus more staffing, including for special needs co-ordinators (Sencos) and reducing the staff/student ratio in Years 4 to 8 from 1:29 to 1:25.  NZEI members in September voted to reject the Ministry of Education’s offer of 9.3% pay rise over three years. Nurses accepted a similar deal in August but with the addition of extra pay steps for many members equating to a 12.6% to 15.9% increase over the agreements’ term, $38m for additional staffing, a safe staffing Accord with DHBs and the Ministry of Health, and a commitment to negotiate and start implementing a pay equity settlement from December 31 2019.

NZNO Acting Industrial Services Manager Glenda Alexander said similar issues with poor pay and stressful working conditions for nursing and teaching had resulted in ongoing problems around morale and fewer people staying in or joining their professions.
“Like nurses, teachers do work of immense value and there should be no question of this being reflected in the way they are paid,” said Alexander. “We agree with the NZEI that this is ultimately about the future of education and is therefore an important issue for all New Zealanders.”
“NZNO encourages the Government, Ministry of Education and NZEI to work together urgently to find a solution that avoids the need for strike action in November, recognises and rewards teachers now, and ensures the attractiveness of teaching as a profession into the future.”


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