NZEI Te Riu Roa President Mark Potter has welcomed the elevation of Jan Tinetti to be the new Minister for Education and is looking forward to working with her to ensure the Government remains committed to making positive systemic change in the sector.
Ms Tinetti was the Associate Minister of Education under now Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and elevated today (Tuesday 31 Jan) in his first Cabinet reshuffle.
“Having been a school principal, Jan knows only too well the issues that are facing our educators,” Mr Potter said.
“She knows the increasing complex work demands facing her former colleagues, teachers and support staff.
“I hope she listens to what they have been saying about what they know will attract and keep great teachers. This includes making the job desirable and realistically manageable, reducing class sizes, committing to pay parity and equity and using evidence-based research to improve teaching and learning.
“This isn’t a laundry list of wants, rather they are policy directions needed to achieve the significant shift in funding and thinking about how the sectors are resourced to ensure that tamariki receive the education they deserve.”
Mr Potter added that the independent Pūaotanga review into school staffing and resourcing, lay out a clear pathway for the Government to make the necessary changes to the system.
“I would urge the new Minister to take a look at it,” he said.
The union was still in the process of negotiating five collective employment agreements with the Government, which affected almost 30,000 workers, but were also committed to pushing on with staffing and resourcing campaigns.
“The outcomes we need will take time and significant funding so I welcome the opportunity to work with her to ensure the Government makes positive steps in this year’s Budget and in its election policy later this year.”
The union also welcomes Jo Luxton as Under-Secretary of Education. Her former role as an ECE centre owner means she brings experience of the early childhood sector to the portfolio.