14 Nov 2018

Christchurch teachers on strike: 'It was never about the money'

12:39 pm on 14 November 2018

Teachers burnout because they are asked to do the impossible, say primary and intermediate teachers striking in Canterbury today.

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Photo: RNZ / Katie Todd

The teachers are marching from Horncastle Arena to Hagley Park as part of nationwide strikes this week.

Chanting and waving signs, while they are protesting pay, teachers say it's also working conditions that are causing burnout.

Sherilee Herangi-Harrison, a teacher from Beckenham School said schools are struggling to retain staff because nobody wants to do the job anymore.

"It's not about the money. It was never about the money. It's about getting the support to do the job we want to do - to do it well and give it the aroha it deserves."

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Photo: RNZ / Katie Todd

Two more teachers, who wished not to be named, said education is already at a crisis point.

"Burnout is very, very real. Our good teachers are on burnout because we are asking of them to do the impossible," one said.

"Very intelligent teachers are leaving because there are other jobs they can do."

Earlier, teachers met to discuss the ministry's offer behind closed doors.

Teachers voted overwhelmingly to go on strike in an effort to get smaller class sizes, more resources and significant pay rises.

The strike continues tomorrow for the rest of the South Island and then Wellington on Friday.

They follow in the footsteps of teachers in Auckland on Monday, Northland and between Auckland and Wellington on Tuesday, and a national strike in August.

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