Guidance for boards on NZEI and PPTA strikes

NZEI Te Rui Roa and PPTA have announced combined strike action in the form of a full day strike on 29th May 2019.

The board will need to start planning for this, including making a decision on whether or not the school will remain open for instruction, closed but able to provide supervision or fully closed during the planned strikes.

The PPTA have advised us that they may take further industrial action after 29 May. We will provide further guidance if this occurs.

In the first instance, please consult the updated MoE/NZSTA Guidance for boards below which explains what boards need to know and do to manage the strike.

Key points for boards to remember as they work through the planning process:

  • The role of the Principal
    • gather sufficient information including talking with non-union staff to ascertain  who is available and willing to work on the day of the strike 
    • provide this information to the board to inform the board's decision whether the school can safely remain open for instruction or will have to close for instruction and if closed for instruction - whether sufficient supervision can be provided or not (again taking H&S of students and staff as the main consideration)
  • The principal should not be part of the board’s decision making due to the conflict of interest
  • Non-union staff are not able to join the strike action as they are not a member of the union nor covered by the relevant Collective Agreements
  • If union members are saying they do not want to strike or will not strike, they need to seek exemption from the union
  • For the purposes of the strike day, the Secretary of Education has assumed responsibility for the employer role and is the decision maker as to whether union members will be suspended, and their pay docked – this decision has been made and a board cannot overrule this.
  • Please notify the Ministry about your school’s status during strike action.

Once your school has decided whether to open or close for instruction, please advise the Ministry of your decision.  If your school will be closed for instruction, please also indicate whether you will be providing supervision for students who turn up to school. Please refer to the Guidelines for your local Ministry office contact details.

If you have further questions, please call us on 0800 782 435 (option #2)  or email

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