Support Staff celebrate career pathway progress – Support Staff Day 11 June
Today is school Support Staff Day and this year support staff can celebrate significant progress in a hard fought-for campaign to get fairer recognition and a better career pathway.
NZEI TE Riu Roa National President Judith Nowotarski says schools could not function without support staff yet many have little or no job security and don’t even earn a Living Wage.
From the office to the classroom and the library to the IT and science labs and everywhere in between, support staff keep schools running and help students fulfil their potential.
"Teacher aides provide much-needed individual teaching and learning, especially for vulnerable students while many office staff have borne the brunt of the Government’s Novopay debacle.
Ms Nowotarski says NZEI has been fighting hard to get support staff the recognition they need.
“The agreement just reached with the Ministry of Education to revise pay scales to better recognise experience and skills, subject to ratification, is a big step forward.
“There has also been some much-needed movement towards the Living Wage. The Ministry has agreed to raise the starting rate for some of the lowest paid support staff. This is something we welcome.”
However she says there is still a long way to go and NZEI will continue to fight for fair recognition and remuneration.
“We want to see central funding so that schools can afford to pay their Support Staff fairly.
“Currently schools have to pay for support staff out of their operational budgets and this often means having to make tough choices between support staff and things like new computers or IT equipment.”
“Our goals to get a fairer deal for support staff not only resonate with teachers and principals but also with our parent communities because parents also see the great contribution that support staff make to the education sector."