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5th March – Tell your MP: No more Novopain

 NZEI notice to All primary members and support staff members in secondary schools

Tuesday 5 March event outside MPs’ offices
Next Tuesday (5 March) marks the six month anniversary of Novopay. It’s also the next pay day for school staff.
It’s time to tell our elected representatives that Novopain has gone on too long. After six months of over-pay, under-pay and no-pay to thousands of members in hundreds of schools, the Government has still not shown any urgency or serious commitment to supporting schools and staff suffering huge workloads and facing financial uncertainty. Staffing and service levels at Novopay and the Ministry are still inadequate.
We know Novopay cannot be fixed overnight. But enough is enough.
While NZEI is continuing to look at legal options and engage in good faith with Novopay Minister Stephen Joyce’s sector reference group, it’s clear we need public pressure from NZEI members on local MPs if we are to make any progress in Wellington.
NZEI is asking all members to join together with placards outside Government MP’s office for an hour next Tuesday, March 5, to mark this date. We suggest this event takes place between 7am-8.30am to maximise public support in rush-hour and to be within media deadlines. 

 ImageGovernment MPs (National, Maori Party, ACT and United Future) are obviously the priority. If your local MP(s) are opposition party ones, please hold your picket in a prominent public place instead.  You can still ask your MP to take your message and deliver it to Stephen Joyce face to face in Parliament.

If joining the event is not feasible for you, please consider holding placards outside your school and asking parents to support schools by signing the letter to Stephen Joyce.   And please take the time to email him yourself next Tuesday at with a copy to NZEI at

Take action:

  1. Work with your worksite rep to get all staff together for a meeting and agree your plan for next Tuesday 5 March.
  2. Your local NZEI branch can help coordinate between schools to ensure a good turn out at the same place at the same time. (Email your regional NZEI  for branch contacts). You could also invite your secondary school colleagues to join you.

  3. Download the letter to Stephen Joyce to give your MP here {LINK}. Encourage as many staff and parents to sign it.
  4. Locate your MP’s local office in the phone book or find it here. Ring the MP’s office and let them know you will be hand-delivering a letter on Tuesday 5 March.
  5. Make some placards – “Toot if you support us”, “Novopay – No Pay” – view some photos from Saturday’s silent protest by Hawera and Stratford educators for inspiration if you need it!  Post your own event on Facebook too

  6. Let your local media know where you are going to be and why, and for any support and to let us know your plans so we can get national media attention too.

Visiting your MP’s office on Tuesday is a first step. The letter includes a request for a face-to face meeting so please follow this up in conjunction with your branch. At principal and primary teacher PUMs and support staff leaders’ focus groups in March and April, we will be discussing further collective action to take. Please check out your local PUM and diary it now!

About Save Our Schools NZ

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." Gandhi


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