Once again the teacher unions have implored their members to break the law. The really bizarre thing is the teachers were voting to strike before they had even heard any proposals.
Over 1000 teachers and administration staff from throughout the greater Christchurch region attended a meeting in Addington yesterday to consider strike action in protest at the proposed overhaul of the region’s schools.
Members of the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) yesterday voted overwhelming to strike on February 19, the day after Education Minister Hekia Parata delivers her final decisions about closures and mergers of affected schools.
The NZEI called the meeting because of its concerns over the Government’s decision to close or merge 39 schools.
Of the 846 who voted, 520 wanted strike action in February, with only 143 voting against industrial action altogether.
After the vote, NZEI president Ian Leckie told The Press the Government’s plans “aren’t acceptable”.
Ian Leckie hasn;t even heard about the plans, so he is really pre-determining the view of the union and its members. However their vote appears to be illegal.
Personally, I’d can’t think of anything better than watching a union get its beans and cop fines…
A teachers’ strike against the Government’s proposed education shake-up in Christchurch is unlikely to go ahead, says a law specialist.
Geoff Bevan, a lawyer specialising in employment law, told Radio New Zealand this morning it was likely the Education Ministry of Education would go to the Employment Court and seek an injunction to prevent the strike.
He believed it would be granted.
Bevan said if the teachers did strike they could be held liable for any losses.
“When you strike you’re breaking an employment contract. If you’re employer breaks a contract they’re liable to pay for the loss they caused their employer. The union can also be liable for the loss.”
However he did not think the ministry would pursue that path.
“Suing teachers or firing them isn’t going to solve the situation in Christchurch.
“The most likely consequence is that the ministry will go to the Employment Court and seek an injunction stopping the strike,” he said.