14 Aug 2014

Teachers vote on govt's $359m policy

11:15 am on 14 August 2014

Teachers and principals in primary and intermediate schools are deciding this week whether to reject the Government's flagship education policy.

The Investing in Educational Success (IES) policy will create 'lead' and 'expert' roles for the best teachers and principals.

Members of the union, the Educational Institute, are voting on whether to negotiate a better version of the policy as part of their collective agreement talks, or reject it completely.

NZEI says there is a lot of opposition to the policy because teachers, parents and school trustees believe the $359 million allocated to it could be better spent elsewhere.

Northland primary principals want extra money spent on children, not teachers.

Northland primary principals want extra money spent on children, not teachers. Photo: PHOTO NZ

The institute's president, Judith Nowotarski, says members are voting this week on whether their collective agreement negotiations should include the proposed new roles.

Ms Nowotarski says there is widespread discontent with the plan.

"We've had so much feedback from teachers, principals, from parents and boards of trustees who are all saying that money should go somewhere else.

"They wanted to be asked about where it should go to to better benefit children, and that deep concern has really affected people."

It is asking members whether they want to consider the proposed new roles in their pay talks.

The union says rejection would send a clear signal that the Government needs to reconsider the policy.

If members agree to negotiate, the union will suggest its own version of the policy.

Voting finishes on Friday and results will be known next week.