BF for SS combo logo

In 2016, the Government decided to freeze school's operations grant funding - funding which pays for support staff and running costs.

In 2017, with a frozen operations grant, it's becoming increasingly difficult for schools to make ends meet, for children and young people to access adequete support and for support staff to secure higher wages and job security.

Thousands of New Zealanders agree that support staff - teacher aides, administrators, librarians, technicians, kaiarahi and many others - make a significant contribution to the education of our children and young people.

They want the Government to recognise this contribution too. That's why they're asking the Government to unfreeze the operations grant. They want better funding for support staff, so we can have better learning for kids.


The Government's freeze on school funding has complicated ongoing collective agreement negotiations between NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Ministry of Education.

With better funding, support staff could get fairer pay, more secure work hours and an increase in allowances for the specialist tasks they do and skills they bring.

In March, thousands of support staff across Aotearoa gathered together to discuss this.

 Here's what support staff say they need to get a fair result for themselves and the children they support.


agree it is essential to unfreeze the operations grant to progress their Collective Agreement negotiations.


call on the Government to unfreeze the operations grant.


commit to taking further action to win an increase to the operations grant.


The huge contribution support staff make to the education of children and young people is well recognised by people across New Zealand.

That's why hundreds of people have shared why they think support staff should have better funding.

They all want the Government to recognise the  contribution of support staff too.

Robert Edwards, Andrea Wishnowsky, Dianne Jordan and Iain Lees Galloway (MP)

From Iain Lees Galloway (MP): I’m a Labour Party M.P. and I think that we need better funding for support staff because every child deserves a world-class education!

Teacher Aide from Chisnallwood Intermediate

We support staff and children’s learning.

Teacher Aide and Teacher from Chisnallwood Intermediate

They deserve job security. They help at risk children function in a mainstream environment.

Library Manager from Chisnallwood Intermediate

We need realistic funding from the government.

Christine from Chisnallwood Intermediate

We need a fair deal!

Islay from Chisnallwood Intermediate

Our children deserve the best!

Staff of Lincoln Heights School

Lincoln Heights School teaching community stands behind NZEI’s negotiations for better funding for our support staff. Our students deserve more. Teachers deserve and need the support provided in our busy classrooms. Support staff deserve an increase in their hourly wages. New Zealand Educators are teachers and support staff together as teams we are making a difference for the future. We vote give the support team more pay now. They are value for money.

Student – Sam Henry and Teacher Aide Lynne Blumsohn

Student – they help me with my eating and drinking. They keep me safe.

Josh and Trish form Greenpark School, Tga

they are a valuable part of the classroom for learning and support.
they help students engage in learning.
they deserve more.
their job is an emotionally and physically demanding.

Estelle Henrys, Suz Bassett, and Lynne Blumshohn

Estelle – Teacher Aide Librarian : because Teacher Aides cannot be paid according to their salary band
Suz Bassett – Office Manager : because Support Staff are not paid in the holidays
Lynne Blumsohn – Teacher Aide : because I want to be valued for what I do. I get paid less than my son who washes dishes at a restaurant.

Display for parents to read and sign petition

Librarian – Sth Auckland

They work above and beyond within schools.

Teacher from Gisborne

Because they are undervalued 🙁

Teacher from Gisborne

because our tamariki deserve to work with staff who feel values as professionals.

Teacher from Gisborne

they are amazing and it helps with extra support for ALL our learners!

Teacher from Gisborne

because they are then able to educate other teachers on how to support students with specific learning needs.

Teacher from Gisborne

because “WE” cannot give those wonderful kids the time and resources that they need. Make a change!

Teacher from Gisborne

because “WE” cannot give those wonderful kids the time and resources that they deserve. Make a change!

LIncoln Heights School Staff Support PINK DAY.

Our Support Staff are multi talented, hardworking and under paid for the important job of helping to build a love for learning. They keep the spark alive for those who find learning a challenge. They believe anything is possible if you keep the faith. It is time they were rewarded for their loyal service to the MOE and the children who they support.

Teacher from Gisborne

Because they are valuable members of our learning environments!

Mary Auta

Our special needs students would not get a fair deal


Over 21,400 people have signed the petition online and 17,160 people have put their name to paper. This adds up to an amazing 38,560 people asking the Minster of Education to unfreeze the operations grant — and the numbers are still growing.

Add your name to the petition

You too can ask the Minister of Education to unfreeze the operations grant.


From teacher aides, therapists and kaiarahi i te Reo to office administrators, librarians and science technicians - it's time to get behind them, their schools and their students.

Better funding for support staff means better learning for kids. That's good for everyone.

Share this page on social media and ask your friends to sign the petition.