It follows what the primary teachers’ union, NZEI, deemed an inadequate offer from the Ministry of Education.
Teachers, represented by NZEI, are seeking a pay rise of 16 per cent over two years, as well as “more time to teach and lead” and more support for students with additional needs.
In June, the Ministry offered an increase of about 2.2-2.6 per cent a year for three years, falling well short of what the union deems necessary to address recruitment and retention issues that are plaguing the industry.
NZEI said its request for funding for a Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) in every school had also been ignored by the Ministry.
The planned strike will be the first in 24 years and is scheduled to take place on August 15, for three hours.
However, the strike’s duration may be extended, according to lead negotiator for teachers, Liam Rutherford.
Rutherford told EducationHQ that there had been calls by members at meetings throughout June to hold a full day strike, to send a strong message to the Government.
“So before August 15, if members are indicating through ... feedback that they do want stronger forms of industrial action, then they will go through an electronic ballot process.
“Now we go back to the table [with the Ministry] and we take the feedback from members from around the country at the meetings, and we will be negotiating hopefully an improved offer ... if we don’t get that offer coming through then we carry on with the strike. And if we do get an offer then we will take that back to members,” he said.
Ellen MacGregor-Reid, Deputy Secretary of Early Learning and Student Achievement at the Ministry of Education, expressed disappointment at the move.
"[Our] offer sees trained teachers’ base salaries increase between 6.1 -14.7 per cent over three years which would see the beginner teacher rate increase to $50,280 a year, rising to $55,030 in 2020," she said in a statement.
"The offer would also see increases for principals of between 6-11 per cent which would see the starting base remuneration of a principal of a school of 50 or fewer students increase to $92,873 in 2020.”
She said negotiations with NZEI would continue over the coming weeks.
"We are disappointed escalated strike action is being discussed while negotiations are ongoing."
The Ministry noted that Budget 2018 included measures to address concerns around support for students with additional learning needs, including $272 million for learning support and $59 million for teacher aides.
Rutherford said teachers acknowledged that a strike could cause difficulties for some families, but believed it was the best course of action in the long term.
“We know that parents understand better than most that if we don’t do something about this teaching shortage, then it results in larger class sizes for their children, because we know that if a school doesn’t have enough teachers filling roles, then those students just have to be spread across everyone else.
"So while we accept that in the short term this could mean a little bit of discomfort for some families, we think the bigger picture is a lot worse.
“We know that to pull us back from this teaching crisis that we actually need solutions around pay, workload and additional learning support for students, so any kind of offer [the Ministry] entertains would need to have those elements to it,” he said.