NZEI RELEASE March 13th 2008
EMBARGOED MARCH 14TH 2008
Early Childhood Teachers Secure Pay Agreement
Hundreds of early childhood teachers are to receive pay rises of around five percent each year for two years following the successful settlement of the Early Childhood Education Collective Agreement of Aotearoa.
The agreement negotiated by the education union NZEI Te Riu Roa covers 160 centres and 1,000 teachers. It is the only multi-employer agreement in the early childhood education sector.
It has been ratified by members, with a vote of 98% in favour, and means from July 1st, 2008, a beginning teacher with a degree will have a starting salary of $37,301.
The agreement is also significant in that it continues the principle of pay parity with the primary and secondary sectors.
It was previously known as the Consenting Parties agreement and has been in place for more than 20 years. It has been the vehicle to lift pay and recognize professionalism in the sector, and NZEI says employers who choose to join it are showing their willingness to be a good employer. Employers can sign up during the term of the agreement and several are expected to do so.
NZEI National Secretary Lynne Bruce says "it recognises and validates the profession of early childhood teaching. It also shows a commitment by employers to salary scales and professional structures which support effective teaching."