Mahi Ngātahi - Collaboration Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi
With your basket and my basket the people will live
Kia ora e te whānau
WORK FORCE STRATEGY By the end of 2017 the Minister recognised that the status of the teaching profession had to be raised and the Ministry had to win back the trust of the profession. There was also increasing pressure on teacher supply in many areas and schools across the country and in certain subject areas such as te reo Māori, science, technology and maths. There was a fall in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) enrolments, concerns over an ageing workforce and growth in student numbers.
As the 2018 year has progressed these issues have come into much sharper focus. The importance of a sound workforce strategy has never been so acute. Principals across the country are reporting huge difficulties filling vacancies for the start of the 2019 year. No longer are shortages confined to large cities and high growth areas.
The Government has responded with some interim measures including major recruitment drives to attract teachers from overseas, and offers to bring New Zealand teachers, currently residing overseas, back home.
Publicly, I have been strong in my views about recruiting overseas teachers mainly because many do not understand how diverse our schools are; nor do they fully understand the cultural, emotional, social and educational needs of our Māori and Pacific Island students who remain priority for us; they will only provide a stop gap only My call is to look to the longer term and in particular, attract more New Zealand school graduates into the teaching work force. I also believe that we need to attract more Māori and Pacific Island school leavers into teaching, so that our Māori and Pacific Island students can benefit.
This week I have attended the Māori medium workforce strategy hui. I was inspired by the rich and sometimes difficult conversations at this hui. The group is working collaboratively with the Ministry to advance this important component of the overall strategy
TIME TO VOTE AGAIN NZEI has been continuing negotiations with the Ministry and, if you are an NZEI member, a new offer from the Ministry now awaits your vote.
The NZEI website instructs:
Primary teachers and principals can vote on their offer from Tuesday 27 November until 6pm Tuesday 4 December. Please use the password and PIN number emailed to you by firstname.lastname@example.org to vote. If you have not received your password and PIN by Wednesday 28 November, or have any issues voting, please call Electionz's free phone election helpline 0800 666 029 or email email@example.com.
I strongly encourage you to employ your democratic rights and vote on the latest offer.
You will have heard that our secondary colleagues recently rejected their pay offer of 9% over three years but have further negotiations to attend before the end of the year. Nevertheless on the strength of this offer, they have signalled strike action for 2019. Secondary teachers have particular challenges especially in some subject areas. The teacher shortage is as acute for secondary schools as it is for primary. The PPTA President, Jack Boyle, has stated 'the Government has a real opportunity to get things right for our tamariki and mokopuna,' and I wholeheartedly support this whakaaro.
TEACHING COUNCIL NOMINATION PROCESS AND ELECTIONS Since the legislation was passed earlier this year to restore your right to elect the majority of members to the Teaching Council, I urge you all to exercise that right by first participating in the process of nominating your preferred candidates.
It took the stroke of a pen to remove your right to elect your own members to the Teaching Council. It has taken a nine-year battle to restore that right. Do not ignore the privilege you now have. Exercise it, respect it, and nominate your preferred candidates!
You may want to consider standing for the Council yourself or nominating one of your colleagues. In any event, be sure to encourage all of your teachers to participate in the voting process when that is announced next year.