On Thursday, 16th March, teachers took to the streets with the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) nationwide, striking after failed negotiations of a pay rise. Schools from preschool up to high school were affected by this strike.

It has been known for a long time that teachers are “underpaid and undervalued”. Many teachers at Macleans College have even moved back to their home countries, mainly England, once the country’s borders opened after COVID-19.

Macleans College was open for Year 9s and any students without any supervision at home. However, no regular classes were held. With senior milestone exams underway and junior milestones set to start on 20th March, students were expected to study in preparation for their exams and relief work was not set.

One student found teachers outside of Pakuranga College with signs.

One teacher, remaining anonymous for professional reasons, said, “This isn’t just about pay. I’m going to be up there for you guys. I’m going to be fighting for the next generation, and that includes you and the next teachers.”

However, the strike disrupted not only schools, but also the workforce as parents had to pull out of work or negotiate their shifts in order to take care of their children. While delays to public transport were expected, a student at the University of Auckland reported no disruptions to their own learning.

The strike can be argued as part of the cost-of-living and inflation crisis, though this problem is ongoing and has been a problem for a long time.

March 18th, 2023
Clarissa Oblefias

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