Primary principals disengage from Ministry of Education work

NZEI President Lynda Stuart said the result of the ballot was a reflection of the anger and concern principals have that wellbeing and workload issues haven’t been addressed.

Primary and intermediate principals who are NZEI Te Riu Roa members have voted to stop communication with the Ministry of Education and cease participation in any Minstry-led work groups, taskforces or meetings.

This follows the rejection in June of the Ministry’s latest collective agreement offer and a nationwide action on Tuesday which saw hundreds of primary and intermediate principals delivering letters to Ministry of Education offices across the country.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart said the result of the ballot was a reflection of the anger and concern principals have that longstanding wellbeing and workload issues haven’t been addressed, and that parity with secondary principals was not offered.

“There is a huge range of Ministry work and initiatives that relies on the goodwill of principals. This action is about saying that goodwill has run out, and that principals will be focussing their attention on their schools and children until the government listens.

“There are a number of concerns that still haven’t been addressed for principals,” she said.

“Pay parity is a simply a matter of fairness – and if it’s fair for teachers, then surely it’s fair for principals.

“The latest offer would have seen some principals in our smaller schools paid less than some teachers in larger schools. This would have a real impact on retaining and recruiting principals in rural areas and in small schools. Principals of our small and rural schools need to be valued – they deserve that and so do children.”

From July 8 there has been a ban on NZEI Te Riu Roa primary principal members undertaking the following work:

  1. All work which is participation in any work group, taskforce, or panel which has as a member any employee of or contractor to the Ministry of Education;
  2. All work which is preparation for or communication about any such work group, taskforce or panel;
  3. All work which is the receiving or reading of any written report or evaluation prepared by or for the Ministry of Education;
  4. Any work which is the collecting or collating of information for the purpose of providing it to the Ministry of Education;
  5. All work introducing or implementing of any new Ministry of Education initiative (including any implementation of the new digital curriculum);
  6. All work which is meeting or dealing with any Ministry of Education staff member or contractor who visits a school (unless the person is invited by the school);
  7. All work which is participation in Ministry of Education PLD whether on line or face to face;
  8. All work which consists of meetings with or discussions with any employee of, or contractor to, the Ministry of Education;
  9. Any work which is the submitting of the 1 July 2019 roll return prior to 22 July 2019 on which date the 1 July 2019 roll return will be submitted.

The strike will end at midnight on 16 August 2019.