(New Zealand) Teacher "crisis" could become a "disaster"; "lack of resources for special needs"

July 6, 2018, Herald: Levin teachers to strike after pay offer rejected Frustrated primary teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a three-hour work stoppage on August 15, and are now discussing whether to extend the strike to a full day…. "Too many teachers are leaving and the number of new graduates has been dropping for years. Close to 17 per cent of new teachers move on within three years of graduating," they said. Principal Riki Sheterline from Levin East School said the issues around stress, class sizes, lack of resources for special needs kids and teacher workload had been building for the past decade and needs to be dealt with now. At packed paid union meetings around the country over the past two weeks, primary principal and teacher members of NZEI Te Riu Roa expressed their anger at the Ministry of Education's pay offers. Principals and teachers had asked for more time to teach and lead, more support for children with additional learning needs and a pay jolt to stem the teacher shortage…. The offer was far from the 16 per cent over two years that members had identified as being necessary to address recruitment and retention issues that had grown during the term of the previous National Government. The request to fund a special education needs co-ordinator (SENCO) in every school to assist children with additional learning needs was also ignored. The lead negotiator for teachers, Liam Rutherford, said there was a growing sense that the current crisis would become a disaster if the Government did not get serious about the issues facing the profession….