New Zealand’s Largest Strike is Looming

Primary and secondary teachers across New Zealand have voted to go on strike together.

The teachers’ unions for primary and secondary teachers have united in announcing a “mega-strike” on 29 May.

This will be the largest strike ever held in New Zealand, involving almost 50,000 teachers and principals.

Teachers have turned down an offer of a 3 percent pay rise. The government insists that it does not have any more money to offer, but they may be able to change how the money might be allocated. Teachers have been negotiating for some time, and there were already two teacher strikes late last year.

Unions say that they want better pay, but also better working conditions as well as better resources for students with special needs.


strike: this is an event where workers stop working to protest

primary teachers: primary school is school for students aged 5-13

secondary teachers: secondary school is for students aged 13 – 18

turn down – say no

allocated – distribute, use. For example: I had 12 apples, so allocated 5 apples to Sam, two apples to Jenny, …

working conditions: the environment for working. It can include how long people work for, when they work, how comfortable the place is, the quality of resources, and what they have to do.

special needs: this is a nicer way to talk about disability. It means that someone needs special help.

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This video is from last year’s teacher strike