October 14, 2004
Tables Historic Early Childhoood Pay Parity Claim
NZEI Te Riu Roa will today table an historic pay parity claim on behalf of the union’s members who work as teachers in early childhood education centres spread throughout the country.
The claim covers a thousand teachers who work in 150 early childhood education centres, most of which are community owned, not-for-profit services.
The claim is for a four-step pay rise to lift salary rates to the same level as state primary, secondary and kindergarten teachers by July 2008. This would increase the salary for a teacher with eight years experience and a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education from $37,600 to $56,400 over the next four years.
NZEI Te Riu Roa negotiated pay parity for qualified and registered teachers in “state” kindergartens two years ago. This is being delivered in a five-step pay rise that will see teachers in these kindergartens reach parity with state primary and secondary teachers in July 2006.
The government has given a commitment to funding pay parity for qualified and registered early childhood teachers by 2008. This is because there is overwhelming research evidence that shows qualified and registered teachers enhance the learning outcomes of young children. “NZEI applauds this investment in the education of New Zealand’s children.” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Colin Tarr.
“This recognises that every step of a child’s learning journey is important. It recognises that the education a child receives in an early childhood centre is as important as the education they receive at primary and secondary school.”
“It will also encourage more people to become early childhood teachers and encourage experienced qualified and registered teachers to stay in the profession,” says Colin Tarr. Early childhood education centres and their teachers that want to join the 150 centres involved in the pay parity claim can do so by becoming a party to the Consenting Parties Early Childhood Collective Agreement. This can be done when the negotiations, which start today, are completed and a new agreement is ratified.