Teachers’ pay offer needs to help make profession attractive – principal

The AM Show 14/08/2018

On the eve of New Zealand's first primary teachers strike in 24 years a principal has said the current offer should be at least doubled.

Auckland Primary Principals Association immediate past President Kevin Bush told The AM Show hundreds of teachers are leaving the profession due to poor working conditions.

"We have 7900 teachers in Auckland, last year 882 left the profession," he told The AM Show.

"They walked off the job [because of] workload, lack of support, the lack of resourcing and of course pay."

It's estimated that 29,000 primary school teachers across New Zealand will walk off the job for a full day on Wednesday, demanding better pay and resources.

The pay rise offered by the Government ranges from a 6.1 percent increase for the top of the pay scale, which would have made the maximum teacher's salary about $80,600, to a 14.7 percent increase to the entry salary, bringing that to $55,030.

Mr Bush isn't part of the negotiation team, but said there needs to be a significant change to the offer before it can be accepted.

"I would say the current offer needs to be increased quite substantially to make sure that we attract teachers into the profession in the future," he said.

Pressed by host Duncan Garner if that meant it would need to be doubled Mr Bush responded with "at least".

He did believe that a huge increase in pay would not be the only thing needed to attract teachers and other things like an allowance for teachers in big cities should be considered.

But Mr Bush said there was a clear disparity in teachers' pay that needs to be addressed.

"Once upon a time the top of the teachers' scale was very close to that of a backbencher's salary," he said.

"Backbenchers salaries are now twice or more."

Watch the full interview with Kevin Bush above. 

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.

Newshub.