Statement on Field Staff strike

Statement can be attributed to Zoe Griffiths, Deputy Secretary Business Enablement and Support.

“We remain committed to progressing negotiations with NZEI Te Riu Roa towards settling this agreement.

The Ministry currently employs around 1000 field staff, including psychologists, speech language therapists, early intervention teachers and others who provide specialist support to students with additional learning needs.

We value the work that Field Staff do and know some field staff have high workloads at the moment and we are actively working to fill vacancies in areas where there is high demand.

We received additional funding for and are recruiting 52 extra specialists for expansion of the severe behaviour service, 28 extra specialists to help reduce waiting lists for early intervention services, plus fifteen extra specialists for ORS (Ongoing Resourcing Scheme), and six specialists for the Intensive Wraparound Service.

We have been discussing initiatives to address workload concerns with the unions, including mutually agreed guidelines for field staff and managers.

We will have arrangements in place to manage urgent appointments as well as supporting schools if there are any Traumatic Incidents during the strike action. Our staff are committed to supporting children and young people they work with so will either rearrange any appointments or if it’s an urgent case, our other staff will ensure the needs are met.”

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