October 18, 2004
NZEI And Employers Agree On Early Childhood Pay Parity Claim
The education union NZEI Te Riu Roa and employer representatives for early childhood education centres throughout the country have reached agreement on an historic pay parity claim.
The pay deal covers a thousand teachers who work in 150 early childhood education centres, which are primarily community owned, not-for-profit services. It involves a four-step pay rise to lift the salary rates at these centres to the same level as state primary, secondary and kindergarten teachers by July 2008. This will 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.
The government has committed to funding the increase and to extending pay parity to all qualified and registered early childhood teachers by 2008, because research evidence clearly shows that qualified and registered teachers enhance the learning outcomes of young children.
“NZEI is thrilled to have settled this historic pay parity claim,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Colin Tarr.
“The union applauds the commitment these employers are making to providing a quality education for the children in their centres.”
“They know that the work their teachers do is as important as their colleagues in primary and secondary schools and should be given equal value,” says Colin Tarr.
“The employers who have agreed to this historic settlement have done so because they care about the quality of early childhood education in Aotearoa,” says Nancy Bell, chief executive of the New Zealand Childcare Association, who led the employers’ negotiating team.
“We know that the way to ensure the children at our centres receive a quality education is to employ qualified and registered teachers and provide the pay and conditions that produce a stable and happy working environment, so they can focus on the needs of the children.”
“We hope that more and more centres will embrace this view and become parties to the Consenting Parties Early Childhood Collective Agreement, the collective that is delivering this historic pay increase,” says Colin Tarr.