28 Feb 2018

Money assigned for teacher pay talks - Hipkins

12:48 pm on 28 February 2018

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says he is working on a long-term strategy to make teaching a more attractive proposition.

Teacher shortage

Teacher shortage Photo: 123rf

Figures released yesterday by the Education Ministry show a 40 percent drop in the number of people training to be teachers.

In light of the report, Auckland secondary school principals have warned they face a shortage of 3000 teachers over the next 10 years if urgent action isn't taken to get more people into classrooms.

The principals said higher pay and lighter workloads would help to fix the problem.

Mr Hipkins told Morning Report today that he has sympathy with teachers over their pay but the government has only a limited bucket of money.

He said money is not the only thing to attract and retain teachers, and the government is also working hard to reduce workloads.

"We need to address some of those wider issues around housing ... the unaffordability of housing is an issue that this government is going to be addressing too."

He said teachers lost ground on pay compared with some other professions in the 1980s and never caught up.

However he is committed in working with the profession to increase pay and said some funding has been set aside for bargaining.

Listen to the full interview on Morning Report: