Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Teachers React to Ministry's Pay Offer

Teachers React to Ministry's Pay Offer

Teachers say the Ministry of Education's pay offer to primary school teachers falls short of what is needed. They have also expressed concern that the focus on improving pay for beginning teachers will not fix the growing teacher shortage.

The vast majority of teachers (about 86%) are being offered a pay rise ranging from about 2.2-2.6% a year for three years.

NZEI Te Riu Roa lead negotiator Liam Rutherford said the offer was far from the 16% over two years that members had identified as being necessary to address recruitment and retention issues that had grown during the term of the previous government.

Workload issues had also been largely ignored, as had the request to fund a Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) in every school, to assist children with additional learning needs. Principals constantly cite the desperate need for greater learning support for their students, and the huge pressure the shortfall puts on already overburdened teaching staff.

"It is now up to members to decide whether to accept the offer or reject it and determine the next steps," said Mr Rutherford.

The ministry has offered pay rises averaging 4.3-4.7% per year for three years to teachers in their first three years of working. According to 2016 figures, about 14% of all teachers have been teaching for less than four years.

First-year teachers would go from the current $49,588* to $56,638, 24 months after the agreement was signed.

Steph Lamborn, of NZEI's New Educator Network, said beginning teachers she had spoken with were unimpressed by the offer.

"They see it as a short-term fix for a handful of the newest teachers. Teaching needs to be a viable long-term career," she said.

Nationwide Paid Union Meetings to discuss the offer will start soon, with the first to be held at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau on June 18.

Primary school principals will also be holding meetings during the same period to consider their collective agreement offer.

The offer to principals also doesn't adequately address workload issues and includes a pay increase that varies from approximately 2.0-3.6% per annum for three years depending on roll size.

*Graduate teachers currently start at $49,588, on Step 5 of the scale. Steps 1-4 have been rolled together and offered a payrise of up to 19.2% over three years, but no one starts on these steps because all New Zealand teachers now begin with a degree-level qualification.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: The Glory That Was Greece, And The Grandeur That Was Rome (Part I)

Having recently returned from a six-week sabbatical in Greece and Italy, here are eight random, but interrelated reflections on Classical and Renaissance art and literature, and the inspiration behind all that glorious grandeur. Part 2 to follow next week. More>>

Jazz Festival Review: Christian McBride’s New Jawn

As he explained, a ‘jawn’ is simply slang from his hometown of Philadelphia for ‘thing’ or ‘project’, as in “Christian McBride has got a ‘New Jawn’ going on.” He sure does, and it is hot. More>>


Matariki: Wellington Starts Celebrations With ReCut 5

ReCut 5 opens the calendar of Matariki ki Poneke events with this free event for the whole family to enjoy – and the estimated 15,000 out-of-towners expected to visit the capital for Saturday’s All Blacks versus France rugby test. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland