The head of the primary school principals and teachers' union is calling for bold and drastic steps to attract and retain teachers in schools.
Primary principals and teachers begin nation-wide meetings today to plan a response to the crisis in recruiting and retaining teachers.
The New Zealand Educational Institute wants a 16% pay rise along with an improvement in working condition for principals and teachers, who are telling the union they don't have enough time to do their jobs.
NZEI president Lynda Stuart said the pay claim is just part of the process.
Ms Stuart said teachers want to go into the talks in good faith, and she's optimistic of a good outcome if the government wants to retain teachers in the classroom.