On March 16, 2023, nearly 50,000 teachers across New Zealand went on strike to demand better pay, working conditions, and resources. This strike, which affected schools nationwide, is the latest in a series of strikes by government officials who are seeking more money for themselves and their schools due to the rising costs in New Zealand.
Under Prime Minister Chris Hipkins’ Labor Party rule, teachers have become dissatisfied with their pay and conditions, despite being a key constituency of the government. The Labor government has promised to focus on issues related to rising costs and to help New Zealanders get through these difficult times. However, political analysts view these recent moves as an attempt by the government to win back the support of voters ahead of the general election in October.
The education minister and former teacher expressed sympathy for the striking teachers, acknowledging that it has been a difficult time for them over the past few years. Despite this, the president of the NZEI Te Riu Roa Teachers Union, which represents the striking teachers, has stated that the current government proposal is not enough for either the teachers, the principals, or the students.
This strike has impacted schools across the country, with many teachers walking out of classrooms to demand better pay and working conditions. As the strike continues, it remains to be seen how the government will respond to the demands of the striking teachers.