September 16, 2005
From NZEI Te Riu Roa
For Immediate Use
Special Education Staff Negotiate 10.9% Pay Rise
A new pay scale has been negotiated for special education field staff, who provide special education services in schools and early childhood education centres, that will deliver base pay increases of up to 10.9%
The increases covers 700 field staff who belong to NZEI Te Riu Roa. They include psychologists, physiotherapists, special education advisors, speech language therapists, occupational therapists, early intervention teachers, advisors on deaf students and kaitakawaenga, who work with Maori students and their whanau.
They work with students in primary and secondary schools and children at early childhood education centres, who have wide range of physical, behavioural and other special educational needs. They also provide support for their families and the staff in schools and centres.
The pay increases are part of a new collective employment agreement negotiated by an NZEI team and follows nine days of talks that began in August. The negotiations focused on establishing a new salary scale to cover all the field staff and the settlement marks the culmination of a work programme involving field staff, NZEI officials and the Ministry of Education, that began two years ago.
Key elements of the settlement are:
* A new salary scale with increases in base pay rates of between 9.7% and 10.9%.
* The pay increases will be phased in over the three year term of the collective agreement with the first increase backdated to September 6.
* Varying additional increases for most field staff as a result of the transfer to the new pay scale.
* A new maximum pay step of $67,800 for all groups, other than psychologists.
* A new maximum pay step for psychologists of $74,500.
* The maximum steps will apply from September 6, 2007.
"This is a very good settlement and is the result of a lot of hard work over the last two years by field staff, NZEI officials and the Ministry of Education," says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Colin Tarr.
"During that time they have worked together to develop a new single salary scale that recognises the important work that field staff do in our schools and early childhood education centres to enable children with special needs to get a quality education," says Colin Tarr.
The field staff will now be briefed on the details of the settlement package before they vote whether to accept it.