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Kindergarten Teachers Achieve Pay Parity

June 30, 2006

Kindergarten Teachers Achieve Pay Parity

Kindergarten teachers achieve pay parity with teachers in primary and secondary schools tomorrow.

New funding rates for early childhood education centres, that take affect from tomorrow, (July 1) includes money for a pay rise to kindergarten teachers that will complete a process that began four years ago.

NZEI Te Riu Roa negotiated pay parity for kindergarten teachers in 2002. This involved a series of five pay increases spread over four years. Tomorrow’s increase is the last of those five pay rises and will see kindergarten teachers salaries rise to the same level as primary and secondary teachers.

“Tomorrow is an historic one for the country’s kindergarten teachers,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Irene Cooper. “Their campaign for pay parity began more than 30 years.”

Pay parity for kindergarten teachers was first raised publicly during International Women’s Year in 1975. Since then many dedicated activists, educationalists, union members and staff, plus a wide range of supporters, have worked to achieve this goal.

“Pay parity acknowledges that the work early childhood teachers do is as important as their colleagues in primary and secondary schools,” says Irene Cooper.

“Early childhood teachers with the same qualifications and experience as primary and secondary teachers deserve the same pay and that’s what pay parity provides.”

Under the collective agreement delivering pay parity to kindergarten teachers, the salary for a teacher with seven years experience and a diploma of early childhood education will rise to $48,123. The salary for a teacher with seven years experience and a three year degree in early childhood education, will rise to $58,327.

A further 1000 early childhood teachers who belong to NZEI Te Riu Roa, will also receive a pay increase tomorrow that will take them a step closer to achieving pay parity. They are covered by the Consenting Parties Collective Agreement and work in 185 early childhood education centres throughout the country.

NZEI negotiated pay parity for these teachers in 2004 which involves a series of annual pay rises. They’ll achieve pay parity in July 2008.

“While we celebrate kindergarten teachers achieving full pay parity, NZEI continues its campaign to secure pay parity for all qualified and registered early childhood teachers,” says Irene Cooper.

ENDS

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