© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2019

50,000 teachers to strike

Emma Olsen
Teachers Strike
New Zealand primary school teachers gathering on the day of the last teachers strike. Harry Touzel, Facebook

Principal says teachers were propping up an undervalued, underfunded system at the cost of their own health and wellbeing.

Next week Wednesday, the largest ever teacher strike in New Zealand will take place. 

A media release from NZEI Te Riu Roa, New Zealand's largest education union, says nearly 50,000 primary and high school teachers will be involved. The strike will affect hundreds of thousands of students at more than 2000 schools. 

Christchurch Boys' High School Principal Nic Hill said teachers were propping up an undervalued, underfunded system at the cost of their own health and wellbeing. 

Teachers' salaries were unacceptably low.

It was a simple supply and demand issue, he said.

"We have a shortage of teachers. Teachers are what make the difference and yet currently in education we are doing everything but prioritising teacher supply. We should be embarrassed about how we market teaching." 

Mother of a high school student being affected by the strike, Leeann Redman also feels very strongly about how teachers are being treated.

"They're underpaid and under-resourced and they have to do something about it now, or else we're not going to have enough teachers. The profession isn't going to attract the quality people and role models that children need".