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Teachers Are Lowest Paid in the Developed World

NZ Secondary Teachers Are Lowest Paid in the Developed World

Monday 3 Jun 2002 Donna Awatere Huata Press Releases -- Education

Dutch research shows New Zealand secondary teachers are paid less than their counterparts in any developed nation, ACT Education Spokesman MP Donna Awatere Huata said today.

"International comparative research commissioned by the Netherlands Centraal Planbureau has just been published. It reveals New Zealand secondary teachers receive significantly less pay per hour of instruction than their counterparts in Australia, the United States of America or any country in the European Union.

"The research also shows our secondary teachers have to cope with more children in the classroom. Average classes in the Netherlands have 17.2 students, Germany 15.2 and France 12.8. Every day, a significant portion of secondary teachers in New Zealand face classes of at least 20 children, and in the worst instances teachers have to deal with more than 30 kids.

"The Government's pay offer won't move us from last-place. Average wage growth in New Zealand is three percent per year, yet teachers are expected to accept just 1.83 percent. That won't even keep pace with inflation, let alone put our teachers on an international footing.

"Centralised pay negotiations between one union and one bunch of out-of-touch bureaucrats have crippled the education sector. Individual schools should have the power to pay teachers what they are worth. Our teachers aren't the worst in the world, we should stop treating them like they are," Mrs Awatere Huata said.

For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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