Pay Jolt For School Support Staff
The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa is welcoming a promise from the Prime Minister that a “pay jolt” will be delivered to thousands of school support staff.
School support staff, which include teacher aides, librarians, office managers, ICT specialists and therapists, are among the lowest paid workforces in the country. Many are paid as little as $12.69 an hour which does not reflect their skills. NZEI has been running a “Stronger Together for Fair Pay” campaign to improve their pay rates and highlight problems around the bulk funding of their salaries.
This morning the Prime Minister Helen Clark addressed NZEI’s Annual Meeting in Wellington and said the government would provide the money to deliver better pay for support staff. She said “our government will be prepared to provide the additional funding required for a pay jolt to raise the pay rates for low paid school support staff just as we are proposing to do for school cleaners and caretakers.”
Support staff go into fresh pay negotiations early next year and NZEI says the pay jolt will underpin that process.
NZEI Vice President Ian Leckie says “support staff have long felt undervalued and the Prime Minister’s announcement means at last there is some commitment to recognise the important work they carry out in our schools.”
“We look forward to working with the government on a “fix” that includes a process to ensure that a funding stream is available to enable principals and school boards to implement the support staff pay rates without compromising other school funding priorities,” he says.
NZEI says it is important the issue does not slip off the political agenda and is calling on other political parties to also honour any commitment over better pay and conditions for support staff.
To see a video of Helen Clark’s announcement please go to: