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Teachers' Pay Disparity, Not Parity

29 May 2002

National's spokesperson on Early Childhood Education, Anne Tolley, is accusing the Government of blatant vote buying with its plan to give kindergarten teachers pay parity.

"The Government's setting in place a pay system of disparity, not parity. It is breaking its promise to early childhood teachers by agreeing to pay parity for kindergarten teachers only.

"It promised to base pay parity on qualifications, skills and responsibilities, but nowhere did it mention this was just for kindergarten teachers. Nowhere did it say at the last election that it would select a certain group of teachers, who just happen to have a strong union affiliation, and increase their salaries by between $8000 and $10,000 a year.

"What about the many thousands of well qualified, skilled professionals who work in the Education and Care sector, the largest sector of Early Childhood.

"The sector is facing a staffing crisis because the Government is driving out thousands of staff who don't have a Diploma, never mind years' of experience in childcare.

"Now it is ratcheting up the pay rates for one small group, which makes up less than a quarter of the sector. The other three-quarters will have to pay more to keep their staff, which means parents will have to pay more.

"This is the second attack on staff in the Education and Care sector. This Government has a pay system that discriminates against most of the sector. It is pay disparity, not pay parity," says Anne Tolley.

Ends

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