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Ministry wants to settle with kindergarten teachers

Ministry wants to settle with kindergarten teachers

The Ministry of Education is pleased kindergarten teachers are considering an offer to achieve settlement of the Kindergarten Teachers, Head Teachers and Senior Teachers' Collective Agreement (KTCA).

"Kindergarten teachers have already received a 2.75 percent pay increase this year and a $300 lump sum, as a result of the Unified Pay Scale with primary teachers," said Group Manager Education Workforce Fiona McTavish.

"The Ministry has been working hard to develop an offer that would enable settlement with the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI), which represents most kindergarten teachers."

Fiona McTavish says the issue that has not yet been agreed upon concerns contact hours for sessional kindergartens.

165 of the 632 kindergartens, or 26 percent, are sessional, meaning they operate at different hours from all-day kindergartens.

"The Ministry wanted to make contact hours the same for sessional and non-sessional kindergartens, to be consistent across the two types of service," says Fiona McTavish.

"Currently sessional kindergartens operating under an all-day licence have a maximum of 26 teacher:child contact hours a week, compared to 30 hours a week in all-day kindergartens.

"After the NZEI rejected that claim, and in an effort to settle, we proposed a maximum of 28 contact hours per week for sessional kindergartens.

"This change of two hours of non-contact time a week would only affect 165 kindergartens, and is an attempt to achieve fairness across services."

Fiona McTavish says the Ministry will continue to encourage the NZEI to bargain constructively towards a settlement."


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