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Special Education Field Staff Ratify Pay Deal

For immediate release November 6, 2003
From: NZEI Te Riu Roa Media Release

Special Education Field Staff Ratify Pay Deal

Special education field staff have voted to accept a pay package which delivers them a $500 lump sum payment and two pay rises of 2.5%.

They voted to ratify the pay settlement at 30 meetings held throughout the country from Kaikohe to Invercargill.

Their union, NZEI Te Riu Roa, began negotiating a new collective agreement with the Ministry of Education back in March, and the field staff took industrial action for two weeks, from the end of September, before settlement was reached last month.

The new collective agreement will run for 22 months, from November 6 this year, until September 5, 2005. It includes.
- Payment of a $500 lump sum this month.
- Two pay rises of 2.5%, the first taking affect this month, the second in November next year.
- A 2.5% increase in the higher duties allowance
- The collective agreement has been expanded to cover additional field staff positions.
- Improvements at the top end of their salary bands for some of the field staff.
The Ministry has also agreed to discuss during the term of the agreement:
- The development of a unified pay scale for all the field staff.
- Pay comparisons with the education sector.
- Other issues such as professional development and workloads for field staff.

More than 650 field staff will receive the pay rises. They include psychologists, counsellors, speech language therapists, special education advisors, occupational therapists, music 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 families and the staff in the schools and early childhood education centres the students attend.

“Special education field staff are highly skilled professionals who thoroughly deserve this pay rise,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National Vice President, Colin Tarr.

“The work they do is demanding and difficult and ensures that all New Zealand children and young persons receive a quality education.”


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