Speaking out for Better Funding for Support Staff

In March 2017, thousands of school Support Staff committed to taking further action to get their stories and messages across to everyone who needs to hear them, especially the Government.

Below are some ideas and resources to help you out. Gather your friends, whanau and colleagues and get the word out there!

Share your story: Invite an MP, Visit an MP, tweet them, write them.

Directly ask current and aspiring Members of Parliament (MPs) to visit your school. Show and tell them what life is like for you and the children and young people you work with in your school.

Ask what they will do to ensure that an increase in the operations grant and better funding for support staff becomes a priority for government.

It’s the government who decides on how funding is allocated, so we need to show them the right thing to do.

Use this letter template to help you write to your MP.


I am a ROLE at SCHOOL, where I have been supporting children’s learning for XX years.

I am passionate about being a ROLE because it makes such a difference for our children and I know my role is valued by the children, parents and teachers at SCHOOL. However, it has become clear that this government does not value the work done by me or my support staff colleagues.

School operations grants have been frozen this year, seriously affecting the ability of NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Ministry of Education to negotiate a pay increase in our new collective agreement. Any increase without additional funding would force schools to cut support staff hours and jobs to cover the cost.

Even before this year, schools have been struggling financially - real per pupil spending on schooling increased by just 2.3 percent from 2009 to the end of 2015, or less than 4 percent in total.

These figures have been verified by economic analysts Infometrics.

I know many support staff who have lost hours and even jobs so schools can balance the budget – this directly affects our students who most need extra learning support.

As my local MP, I want to know your position – will you support us in lobbying the government for an increase to school funding that will enable us to receive fair pay and secure work?

Yours sincerely

Help to collect 101 Reasons Why we need better funding for Support Staff

Get colleagues, parents, friends , family, whanau students and community members to write down why they think we need better funding for support staff on a speech bubble sign.

Get photos of people and their speech bubbles. If you take a photo of them and upload them to the website, you'll add to the hundreds of reasons already collected from across Aotearoa!

Make displays at school

Put up signs and speech bubbles about better funding for support staff as a way to engage parents and the community in discussions. Share the message that better funding for support staff is good for everyone in their school.

Invite your Support Staff colleagues to join NZEI Te Riu Roa

It's always a great time to join your union, and when striving towards the goal of better funding, better working conditions and better pay, there's strength in numbers.

Authorised by Paul Goulter, National Secretary, NZEI Te Riu Roa, 178 Willis St, Wellington.