The funding freeze on schools has drawn in Green MP Marama Davidson and Manurewa MP Louisa Wall to get behind support staff who have been hit by it.
Support staff from various south Auckland schools have voiced their concern over the financial issue. Many fear hours being cut or even worse losing their jobs.
The staff appealing are members of teachers’ union NZEI Te Riu Roa.
Joining teachers and support staff in Manurewa, Davidson visited Homai primary and Wall was at Rowandale school.
The staff at Rowandale school gathered signatures from parents on a petition calling on the Ministry of Education to improve the pay of support staff in schools.
“I think support staff are core staff. They are critical to our ability to meet the needs of our students,” Wall says.
“Their wages should be paid for in the same way teachers are – by the state – not from the Operations Grant which is for the day to day running of the school. They also deserve to be paid for the full year as teachers are.”
“To me, if we don’t value and support the people who work with our children then we undermine the ability of the children to get a good education,” Wall asserts.
“I believe education lays the foundation for us to go on and have good lives.”
NZEI member and support staff at James Cook High School, Linda Jordan says principals and teachers are the first to tell them that schools could not function without them.
“The sector is behind support staff,” she says.