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NZEI Negotiates Pay Rise For School Support Staff

NZEI Negotiates Pay Rise For School Support Staff

NZEI Te Riu Roa has negotiated two pay rises for 9000 support staff, who are members of the union, and work in both primary and secondary schools throughout New Zealand.

The support staff and kaiarahi i te reo, who are fluent Maori speakers, work in primary, secondary, intermediate, middle and area schools as teacher aides, administration staff, executive officers, science and IT technicians, librarians, therapists, sports co-ordinators and in many other non teaching roles.

They represent more than 20% of the membership of NZEI Te Riu Roa, the country's largest education union, which also represents primary and early childhood teachers, staff in special education and the schools' advisory service.

The union began negotiating with the Ministry of Education in October. Talks resumed this month and settlement was reached after a further four days of negotiation.

The settlement involves two collective agreements, the support staff in schools agreement, which covers the majority of support staff and a second agreement that covers those who work as kaiarahi i te reo, special education assistants and assistants to teachers of students with severe disabilities.

The key points of the settlements, which are subject to ratification by the support staff, are: • Two pay rises of 2.5%, the first taking affect on January 1 next year, the second from January 5, 2005. • A new section that protects members' rights when their school is involved in a merger as the result of an area review. • An extra week's annual leave available after four years service. This was previously available after seven years service. • A retirement savings scheme, with a contribution from the employer, that will be available to all members covered by the agreements, from July next year.

Support staff will vote in a postal ballot, whether to accept the settlement.

"The union is recommending that members accept this settlement," says NZEI Te Riu Roa Vice President, Colin Tarr.

"We believe the pay rises, enhanced leave provisions, the retirement savings scheme and the clearer protection for members who are involved in future school mergers, represents a good package," says Colin Tarr.

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