Ally Kemplen, a teacher in Auckland, who is part of NZEI Te Riu Roa`s support staff bargaining team, says the offer is a step forward and the result of support staff throughout Aotearoa pulling themselves together and fighting hard to get their work valued fairly. “Auxiliaries are absolutely essential for our schools. We work closely with children who have the most complex learning needs. But we have been undervalued for too long. This offer is an important first step in recognizing it and properly evaluating support staff,” she explains. Quality teaching and learning cannot take place without them and they are long overdue, improved salaries and conditions that recognise their skills and value for our students,” she said. The team of school facilitators is starting two weeks of paid union meetings nationwide to discuss upcoming collective bargaining plans, with pay equity agreements also top the agenda. If you would like a printed copy of this agreement, we recommend that you download the following PDF version….