Leah Panapa: 'Will the teachers get what they want?'

Night Talk 15/08/2018
Credit: Newshub.

Night Talk - Leah Panapa opening comments, Wednesday 15th August 2018. Tonight: Would you feel OK if the teachers wanted to continue to strike?

(Leah Panapa is in for Mitch Harris tonight as a member of Mitch's family passed away last weekend, and he's been at the funeral this afternoon).

Tonight on Night Talk: Will teachers keep striking after today's action? Did you join in any of the protests today? 

If your household was disrupted by the teacher's strike, get ready for more.

Tens of thousands of teachers rallied all over the country on Wednesday in their first full-day strike for 24 years.

The Government's adamant the offer they've made is fair. However teachers are unwilling to compromise, and are threatening a two-day strike if they don't get what they want from the Government.

In 1998, first-year teachers earned 15 percent more than the median wage. Now, their starting salary is 1 percent below it.

The union wants a 16 percent pay rise, but it also wants more support teaching those with learning difficulties and smaller class sizes.

The Government is committed to going back to the negotiating table, but says the offer as it stands is fair. That offer would boost the top-scale salary to just over $80,000, and an entry salary to just over $55,000.

"It's double what they were getting under the previous government, but in nine months in government we can't make up for the nine years of neglect," says Education Minister Chris Hipkins.

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