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(New Zealand) SPED support join teachers in nat'l strike; "growing number" of SPED kids

Aug 20, 2018, Stuff: School support specialists set to strike in protest of low pay and high caseloads https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/106414987/school-support-specialists-set-to-strike-in-protest-of-low-pay-and-high-caseloads Hundreds of teachers, parents and students gathered at the Church Steps on Trafalgar St, Nelson, during the nationwide teachers' strike last week. Learning support specialists will follow suit on Tuesday. Hundreds of learning support specialists will strike on Tuesday, placing more pressure on the Ministry of Education to meet the sector's demands for better pay and lighter workloads. About 850 psychologists, speech language therapists, and other special education specialists represented by the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) will rally in 18 towns and cities across the country after rejecting the ministry's pay offer…. Ministry deputy secretary Zoe Griffiths acknowledged some of those staff have "high workloads at the moment". She said the ministry is "actively working to fill vacancies in areas where there is high demand", recruiting about 100 extra specialists for high needs children…. NZEI said the Government needs to ensure specialist staff are available to the growing number of children who need them. "There aren't enough specialists for the children who need the support, and those of us in the job are pushed to our limits with extreme workloads," Byron Sanders, an NZEI negotiator for the specialists, said….