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NZEI Negotiates Early Childhood Pay Settlement

For immediate release December 12, 2003
From: NZEI Te Riu Roa Media Release
Ms03/46

NZEI Negotiates Early Childhood Pay Settlement

NZEI Te Riu Roa has negotiated a pay settlement for teachers and support staff working in 150 early childhood education centres spread throughout the country.

The Consenting Parties Early Childhood Collective Agreement covers more than 800 teachers and support staff employed at 150 childcare centres, crèches, community kindergartens, and kohanga reo. It is one of the biggest multi employer agreements in New Zealand and settlement was reached after four days of negotiations.

A major feature of the settlement is that the qualified teachers in centres covered by this agreement will change from being employed on an hourly rate to being paid a salary.

“This is a significant step as it will provide further recognition that teaching in early childhood is a profession and teachers can enjoy a long term career in this sector,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Bruce Adin.

“Being paid a salary also moves early childhood teachers in these centres a step closer to gaining pay parity with their teachers in state kindergartens and state schools, whose salaries are negotiated by the Ministry of Education on behalf of the government,” says Bruce Adin.

“That’s because moving these teachers onto salaries will enable us to quantify the pay gap between them and kindergarten teachers at state kindergartens who have pay parity with state school teachers.”

“NZEI Te Riu Roa is determined to bridge that gap and achieve pay parity for all registered and qualified teachers working in the early childhood sector.”

“The union applauds the employers involved in this agreement for sharing that vision and working with NZEI Te Riu Roa in doing everything they can to deliver pay parity for the teachers they employ, ” says Bruce Adin.

The key points of the settlement are:
- In May next year permanent teachers move from an hourly rate to a salary.
- Two pay rises for all teachers. A 1.25% increase from November this year and a 0.5% increase and an alignment of wages and salaries scales from May next year. This amounts to a total average pay increase of 2.65%
- Two pay rises for all support staff. A 1% pay increase from November this year and a 1.5% increase from May next year.
- Salaries for teachers and head teachers will range from $27,139 to $45,044.
- Compensation if work hours are reduced because of a drop in the number of children at a centre.
- The agreement will run for 12 months from November 1 this year until October 31, next year.

The early childhood teachers and support staff will now vote in a postal ballot whether to accept the settlement.

ENDS

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