Early Childhood Council Should Act As A Good Employer
NZEI Te Riu Roa says the Early Childhood Council should stop attacking the government’s new retirement savings scheme for state sector workers and start acting as a good employer by urging the early childhood education centres it represents to introduce a similar scheme for their staff.
The government scheme, announced earlier this month, involves state employers matching the contribution employees make towards their retirement savings. NZEI members who work as teachers in kindergartens and support staff in both primary and secondary schools are eligible to join the scheme. It will run alongside the retirement savings scheme NZEI negotiated for primary school teachers that was introduced last year.
“The Early Childhood Council’s attack on the scheme is predictable and disappointing,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National Vice President, Colin Tarr. “Once again the council is blaming NZEI for improving conditions for its members and helping create a working environment that enables them to provide a quality education for the children they teach.”
“NZEI urges the council to stop the attacks and instead follow the government’s lead and act as a good employer by negotiating a similar retirement scheme for teachers in the private sector early childhood education centres it represents.”
The vast majority of teachers in early childhood education are women who find it difficult to save for their retirement, as on average they earn 16% less then men.
The Women in Super lobby group has welcomed the government’s new scheme as a step towards improving the ability of women to save for their retirement and calls on all employers to offer workplace savings schemes. “NZEI echoes that call and urges the Early Childhood Council to join the move to help women save for their retirement,” says Colin Tarr.