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Source: New Zealand Education Institute (NZEI)

National Party’s recycled employment policies are stale and mean – NZEI Te Riu Roa

28 August 2020

The National Party’s recycled policy of scrapping lunch breaks and reinstating 90 days trials are stale and mean, NZEI Te Riu Roa says. 

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Liam Rutherford says such policies have a negative impact on people’s right to decent working conditions and will impact on teachers working in the early childhood sector where many services have less than 20 employees. 

Early childhood teacher Melissa Burgess says early childhood teaching is an incredibly demanding job and rest and lunch breaks are critical for teachers to recharge throughout the day. 

“If teachers are worn out, the quality of the interactions they will be able to have with children will also be impacted,” she says. 

“It’s also critically important for our babies and youngest children to have continuity of relationships with staff, not the kind of revolving door of people made possible by the 90 day trial approach.” 

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Liam Rutherford says “it is baffling that in the middle of a pandemic National would put out a policy that erodes workers’ break times. This should be a time of working together rather than stripping away workers’ rights.” 

He said a Treasury commissioned report had found National’s previous 90 day trials legislation “had not significantly stimulated employment or helped struggling job-seekers.”