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Thames Valley teachers are planning to strike again on May 11. File Photo: GORDON PREECE

Further disruptions planned for highschoolers 

A one-day teachers strike and days off for separate year levels in Thames Valley high schools will take place this month.

The move is part of another round of industrial action for better working conditions by members of the Post Primary Teachers Association Te Wehengarua (PPTA).

The association announced its members in secondary and area schools from the start of the second school term would not teach different year levels of students on certain days and planned to hold one-day strikes in each region.

A strike for Hauraki-Coromandel secondary and area schools is planned to take place on May 11. The association also announced it would continue to refuse to give up scheduled planning and marking time to relieve for absent teachers or positions that are vacant, and also planned to not attend meetings outside regular school hours.

A member of the PPTA Te Wehengarua negotiating team, Kieran Gainsford, said while PPTA members would prefer to begin Term 2 in a “settled environment”, there was still unsatisfactory progress on major issues after 11 months of negotiations.

“There is a worsening shortage of secondary teachers, and we need salary rates and conditions that will keep teachers in the classroom, attract graduates to choose secondary teaching as a career, and encourage former teachers to return to the job they love,” he said.

“Every day the collective agreement remains unsettled, the further our pay and conditions slip backward and the more difficult it is to encourage people to stay in teaching or to come teaching.

“It is fantastic and incredibly important work, but it needs to be valued appropriately. Our rangatahi [children] need specialist teachers for every subject and they need kaiako [teachers] who can bring their best selves to the job through manageable workloads.”