At our annual conference earlier this year, I issued a challenge to NZEI Te Riu Roa members who are fed up with holding together an education system broken from nine years of neglect.

It was this:  It’s time to stand together, to fight and to win.

It’s time to win the education our children deserve, and it’s time to win for our profession.

Whatever the influence of the various parties and their policies on our new Government, the task of repairing the damage from nearly a decade of neglect will not be easy and it will not be cheap.

It’s our job, as teachers and educators working alongside children in schools and ECE, to hold that Government to account for both its promises, and its failures, and to win for children and win for public education.

What does that win look like?

We will know we’ve won when every child, regardless of their ability or disability or the wealth or culture of their family, gets the best education in the world.

We’ll know we’ve won when teachers are paid enough to attract passionate young people into your profession, and are no longer bogged down in administration and testing, and are freed to teach, with principals freed to lead.

And we’ll have won when some of the lowest paid people in education – ECE teachers, teacher aides, support staff, support workers – win pay equity, are and no longer underpaid just because their work his historically been done by women.