A Twitter Conversation: May 2019

​School teachers and principals across the country have agreed to stage New Zealand’s largest-ever strike as negotiations with the Ministry of Education continue to stall.

The Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) and New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) Te Rui Roa announced the move on Sunday, and said rolling strike action was also possible.

Ths strike, on May 29, will involve almost 50,000 primary and secondary teachers and primary principals, and will affect hundreds of thousands of students in more than 2000 schools.



The Conversation

Obviously there has been a lot of reaction to the recent vote to hold a mega strike, and a lot of this reaction has been documented on Twitter. I wanted to collect this reaction and keep a record of it in our blog. I have come to realise that I value the posts on this site, but often a lot of conversation happens on Twitter and then falls off into the Twittersphere.


  • The crisis is real, and it’s spreading. And the more who leave, the more work has to be picked up by other all-ready-stressed teachers. And thus the crisis is exponentially growing. And all the government is prepared to do is start training replacements!?
  • In all of these pay negotiations, not once have teachers been asking for anything that is unreasonable… It’s not like we’re asking for a slushy machine in every school!
  • Come on … Make history. Be the one MP to stand up for teachers and get them what they deserve. Show the public the importance of education in this country. Go on. I dare you!
  • So it’s not that the government CAN’T meet what we’re asking for…. it’s that they WON’T.
  • Kinda think that the Teacher Unions need to start playing hardball. Indefinite strike would soon get some results. Look at the bus drivers….

  • Started putting my thoughts down about teacher workload into a tweet…. ran out of characters and lost all energy and enthusiasm for continuing. A story all too common for lots of teachers at the moment!
  • Essentially here’s what would solve a lot of problems: • Pay Teachers more, because we’re worth it and we deserve it. • Shrink class sizes, because with less students comes less work but more teaching. • More SENCO resourcing, because there are more needs than ever before.
  • Shrinking class sizes is key. Less reports to write, less assessments to do, less paperwork to compile. More time for each student. More genuine relationships. More teaching. More jobs available for the additional teachers that come back into the workforce!
  • For me; class size plays a huge role on the teacher. For the last few years I’ve consistently had over 31 students in my class. Believe me; when there are 6 away and the class is only 25; it makes a HUGE difference in the way the classroom feels, acts, and learns.
  • For me, having more time in itself doesn’t sort anything out; it means time out of class if anything. What I need is less students in front of me which will in turn give me more time for each one. It also lessens the time I need for assessments, reports, planning etc…. win win!

  • I left the union at the end of last year. Not regretting it. They should be doing a LOT more given the circumstances, and a clear plan seems to be lacking. Seem to be floundering in too many ideas rather than laying out a “game” plan for teachers and the government to follow!
  • So why did the Ministry turn up to the last round of negotiations with NZEI with no new offer? Took active teachers and leaders out of their classrooms, made them organise relievers, sort out transport… for what!? No new offer!? How disrespectful.

  • Let’s face it. I am a teacher. No government is ever going to be able to pay me what I’m worth. I knew this going into the profession. But come on… at least you could try and show me I’m valued
  • Quick question … Why has class size not been a major negotiating point as a way of reducing workload? Teachers are definitely asking for this!!!

  • So … the first strike in 24 years didn’t work… so you decide to strike again but on different days… then… when that failed to make a dent… let’s do another one day strike… do we really think that’s going to make a blind bit of difference?
  • Multiple days. Cause some proper disruption. Half day strikes. Go slow days. Play hardball. MoE need a kicking too I admit.
  • Lay out a plan of attack: If you don’t accept our terms then this is what we will be asking our members to do, and if that doesn’t work, then THIS is what we’ll do… and then…. at the moment it feels like they’re just making it up as they go.


  • Don’t think you get to comment . You’re the ones who landed us in the position we’re in now. Majority of parents I’ve spoken with are happy to put up with the inconvenience if it means their child’s teacher/s get a fair deal. Support for teachers is there in droves!
  • But seeing as you do get to comment; what would National’s offer be if you were still in Govt?
  • I also find your teacher ratio comments hard to believe, given Hekia wanted to raise them through the roof. If I were you I’d be offering apologies and then begin making things right rather than trying to blame the ones who came after you for the monster you created.

  • By the way… this from when reading the amendment bill for Teacher Council changes: “…to us, they are teachers, and no Government can achieve what it is setting out to achieve in the education system without having teachers on side….” (1 / 2)
  • “…We stand side by side with teachers, we back the profession, and we’re willing to trust and respect this profession in a way that the previous Government were never willing to do.” (2 / 2)