This tag is associated with 7 posts

On breaking a strike.

A strikebreaker (sometimes derogatorily called a scab, blackleg, or knobstick) is a person who works despite an ongoing strike. Wikipedia

There’s a lot of chatter on social media about whether or not union members can *choose* not to strike, and whether they would get paid for working on the strike day if they went to work.

I haven’t got a definitive answer yet, but how very sad that any union members would be actively trying to find ways to break a strike.

How astounding that anyone would be encouraging others to do so.

And how utterly unbelievable to be hunting down possible loopholes to get paid on a strike day.

Yes, it’s term 4, yes it’s report season, and yes, there are bills to pay, but it’s no small thing to cross a picket line (literally or figuratively) and work on a strike day.

Once the settlement comes in, would strikebreakers expect the same gains as the members who actively held the strike?

I wonder?

Are we paddling this waka together?  If not, why bother joining a union?

~ Dianne

Chris Hipkins, do or do not – there is no try…

It was great, today, to see so many coalition MPs, including the Prime Minister, turn up in the Beehive’s grounds today to hear and acknowledge why NZEI members were striking.

Chris Hipkins spoke eloquently about his understanding of the issues, agreeing that more must be done for students with special educational needs and that staff workload and retention issues must be addressed, and for that we were very thankful.

And we understand that not everything can be addressed at once. We get that this government inherited a cesspool of bad policies from National and ACT. We know the pot of money is not bottomless.  But we also know we are in dire straits right now. That the issues are happening all around us, and there is no time to waste.

So, whilst we are very glad this government treats education staff with respect and genuinely seem to listen to us, we need more than just sympathy; We need action.

Before it’s too late.

yoda and hipkins

NZEI Claims and Negotiations

Why NZ should care that teachers in England are on strike


On Tuesday 5th July 2016, thousands of teachers in England are striking, and the reasons that are doing so are very pertinent to what is happening in New Zealand.  Everything that is happening there is already being put in place here, bit by bit by bit.

Here, Charlotte Carson explains the reasons that the teachers are striking and why parents should care:

Parents – are you a wee bit pissed off that teachers are on strike again? And it’s all about their pay?!!

I am a teacher and I will be on strike on Tuesday. I want to explain why.

1. It’s not really about pay.
As a profession I think we are well paid. That is why we have good quality professionals working hard to teach children, inspire them and look after them. But this is about to change.

2. The White Paper
The government’s latest white paper proposes DEREGULATION of teachers’ pay and conditions. Currently all local authority employed teachers in England are paid according to the same contract. Like nurses and doctors, we have automatic pay progression (so the longer you serve the more you get – an incentive to stay in the profession), pay portability (if we move schools we get the same basic pay – they can’t pay us less – this stops a competition between schools for teachers based on money – without it richer schools will always poach good staff from poorer schools) .

3. What is performance-related pay?
The introduction of performance related pay will mean that teachers get paid according to exam results. As a parent I would never want a teacher to look at my child and think ‘is he going to wreck my data and stop my pay rise?’ We are not working in sales – it is hugely problematic to pay us based on exam results.

4. Why should non-teachers care about teachers pay and conditions?
Deregulation also means that our working hours, holidays, pay, sick pay and maternity pay will be individually decided by the employer – the academy that is. An Academy in Manchester has in its contract that maternity pay will be ‘subject to affordability’. Who will become a teacher if the terms and conditions are unattractive?

A mum said to me yesterday ‘but in my job I don’t get good maternity pay – why should I care about teachers?’. My answer is this: public sector pay and conditions set the bar for private sector pay and conditions. If we get screwed you will get screwed too.

5. What’s the problem with academies and free schools?
Academies and free schools are businesses. That means their primary concern is money. The government is paving the way for them to become profit-making businesses. Already many academies double up as wedding venues, conference facilities etc. No harm in generating revenue eh? Well only if it’s being ploughed back into the school and the children. Let’s remember schools are about children aren’t they? It seems not.

Many academies including Harris academies have recently got in trouble for deliberately excluding ‘problem children’ and paying local authority schools to take them off their hands – because they wreck the data. How can you publish your excellent GCSE results if some stubborn children just won’t make progress! The answer in some academies is to get rid of them – then you don’t have to report their results.

So if the money isn’t spent on the kids where does it go?

Good question!
Do a Google search on Haberdashers Free School account fraud. He ran off with £4million! How did he manage to do that? Answer – because he was only accountable to the board of governors and the head teacher. Local authority schools are overseen by a democratically elected local council. Academies don’t have to bother with that level of accountability. And the government also wants to get rid of parent governors. This would mean that academies would only be accountable to themselves. We’re talking about millions of pounds of public money. Already there have been many documented cases of fraud in academies and free schools.

6. Qualified teachers v. unqualified teachers
Academies and free schools don’t have to employ qualified teachers. Unqualified teachers are cheaper of course. But I know which one I want teaching my children.

This is all I have time to write just now.
The problem is that most teachers are so busy that they haven’t taken time to communicate all this with parents. I think we need to get much better at doing that.

But just think about your children’s teachers – do you trust them? If you do then please trust that they are on strike for the right reasons – for the future of our jobs and our schools – defending education from privatisation.”

New Zealand parents, take note – this is all coming our way, too.

~ Dianne

How Teachers Can Stop the Organized Attack on Teaching

“Teachers often feel powerless in the face of the assaults against their profession. Often they are directed to do things that they know are educational malpractice, and they have no choice but to comply.

The best way to resist is through collective action, like the testing boycott of the Seattle teachers. One person standing alone is admirable but will be fired. What is necessary is for entire faculties to speak as one. Think of the Chicago Teachers Union. Their detractors changed the state law to prevent them from striking, raising the requirement for a strike vote to 75%. Their enemies, organized by Jonah Edelman of the notorious Stand for Children, and paid for by the equity investors of Chicago, thought that 75% would make a strike impossible.

But CTU patiently educated, mobilized, and organized. When the vote came, more than 90% of the members authorized the strike. And the strike was supported by parents, who understood that the teachers were fighting for their children.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taught us all that mass protests could defeat big money and political power. He taught us not to be afraid. He taught us the power of collective action by the powerless. Together, in concert, when justice is on your side, mass action cannot be defeated….”

via How Teachers Can Stop the Organized Attack on Teaching.

via How Teachers Can Stop the Organized Attack on Teaching.

One Wet Fish and a Crayon

damn you all So, NZEI Christchurch members voted overwhelmingly to strike on the 19th of February…

… and after waiting what feels like a lifetime for NZEI big bods to let everyone know what’s going to happen and how, we find out that that the plan is for someone to sit in a dark cupboard and whimper gently whilst shaking their fists at the gods, shouting “Damn you allll, damn you all to helllll…”

hit with a fish

There might even be a 2nd person waving a wet kipper

and a third writing a stern letter in crayon.

toga party at the Beehive

And all the while, back in the Beehive, The Great Lord Communicator of Sith and the Emperor Wonkey Johnkey will be swishing their togas and dining on caviare and shredded Talent2 communiques and laughing themselves all the way to the front bench.

I’ll get mi coat…


NZEI’s planned action

Support Christchurch – An NZ-wide Day of Action – NZEI Update

Latest NZEI information:

February 19th is NOT CANCELLED as a day of action although the strike itself has been called off.

The CSB Arena event is  GOING AHEAD at 4pm so members and supporters can attend and there are other activities going ahead in other centres including Auckland and Wellington.

Contact NZEI or your rep for more information.


Christchurch Day of Action – 19th Feb 2013

Please support our colleagues in Christchurch.

We need to ensure that the Government understands that it must put children’s learning first.

For those of you not in the Christchurch branch area, please help your colleagues deliver this message by wearing red and black on the 19th February and posting photos to the Listen to Christchurch facebook page.

You may also:

  • Send a letter to the editor of your local paper about why the Government must listen to the teachers and school communities in Christchurch and what’s at stake for quality public education if it follows its current agenda
  • Choose a Christchurch school (schools) and send them a message of support. Perhaps some students could send emails as well. You can find a list of schools and their email addresses at

Remember, the purpose of the day of action is to give Christchurch educators a voice to tell the Government we are determined that from now on it must put children’s learning first and: 

  • STOP using flawed processes and making poorly informed decisions  – and instead ensure fair processes based on robust evidence;
  • LOOK at what really works in terms of quality teaching and learning; and
  • LISTEN to educators and school communities.

NZEI remains committed to continuing discussions with the Ministry of Education. We hope that the Government has come to recognise the depth of community feeling and teachers’ resolve on this issue.

What is happening on the day in Christchurch

It is vital that the focus is on bringing Christchurch communities with us on the day. Those families, community groups, local businesses, hapu and iwi and other groups all have a stake in the future of Christchurch children and their learning.

So rather than a traditional “strike” or “picket line”, the local member organising committee has proposed that as a minimum, all schools in the Christchurch branch area open on 19 February until 2pm for a Community Open Day, followed by a public event at the CBS ARENA at 3pm.

Instead of delivering normal classroom programmes, schools will invite their local communities to participate in activities and discussions at the school about the future of education in Christchurch and the learning programmes at their school.

From 2pm on the 19th, NZEI is asking members and supporters to travel to the CBS Arena for a community-wide, family-friendly event from 3-4.30pm.  If you’re from the wider Christchurch region but not in the Christchurch branch area, you are very welcome to join us!



Latest NZEI information:

February 19th is NOT CANCELLED as a day of action although the strike itself has been called off.

The CSB Arena event is  GOING AHEAD at 4pm so members and supporters can attend and there are other activities going ahead in other centres including Auckland and Wellington.

Contact NZEI or your rep for more information.

Stand Side by Side with Christchurch Schools

On the 18th February Education Minister Hekia Parata will unveil her  verdict on the 39 Christchurch schools proposed for merger or closure.

 On 19th February Canterbury teachers and principals will protest the proposed educational reforms.

If you are in Christchurch, go to the CBS Arena and show your support, from 4pm onwards.

Aucklanders – Auckland teachers are showing their support by attending the intersection demonstrations on the corners of Balmoral and Dominion Roads, and St Lukes and New North Roads between 4 and 6 pm

Wellington teachers are protesting 4pm outside Hekia’s electorate office in Porirua (near Beds R Us).  All welcome.

Whangarei have a protest at 5pm with banners along one of their main roads – ask your rep for more information.

There will be other events in your area – ask at school.

Show them that you stand with them, side by side.

red and black

On 19th February wear red and black.

Show Christchurch communities that you care.

Get your school or workplace on board – take pics and send them in to the press, to me, share them on Facebook, Twitter, and where-ever you can.

Show the government that their treatment of Christchurch has been outrageous and that the schools and communities need and deserve to be heard fairly and honestly.


19th JANUARY 2013


Together We Stand

Together We Stand

Save Our Schools Christchurch  (no relation to this page)

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