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Special Education Negotiators Settle Pay Deal

For immediate release October 17, 2003
From: NZEI Te Riu Roa Media Release
Ms03/41

Special Education Negotiators Settle Pay Deal

A settlement has been reached in the industrial dispute involving more than 600 special education field staff.

The settlement follows two weeks of industrial action in which the field staff imposed a number of work bans.

They took the action after eight months of negotiations failed to deliver an acceptable pay offer.

Negotiations resumed this week and agreement was reached on a settlement package.

The settlement package, which is subject to ratification by the field staff, includes
- Payment of a $500 lump sum.
- Two pay rises of 2.5%, the first taking affect next month, the second in November next year.
- A 2.5% increase in the higher duties allowance
- Improvements at the top end of their salary bands for some of the field staff.
- Agreement by the Ministry to discuss, within the term of the collective agreement, the development of a unified pay scale for all the field staff.
- Agreement by the Ministry to discuss, within term of the agreement, pay comparisons with the education sector.
- Agreement to address other issue such as professional development and workloads.

The industrial action has been suspended and field staff will be attending meetings throughout the country to vote on the package.

“The negotiating team is recommending they accept the settlement package as it represents a substantial improvement on the Ministry’s earlier position and addresses most of the significant issues in the claim,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Bruce Adin.

The field staff are psychologists, speech language therapists, special education advisors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, early intervention teachers, advisors on deaf students and kaitakawaenga who work with Maori students and their whanau.

They work with students at early childhood, primary and secondary level who have a range of physical, behavioural and other special educational needs. They also provide support for their families and the staff in the schools and early childhood education centres the students attend.

They are members of NZEI Te Riu Roa, which also represents early childhood teachers, primary teachers and principals, support staff in primary and secondary schools and school
advisers.

ENDS

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