19 August 2013
Living Wage - key focus for school support staff claim
School librarians, teacher aides, IT support and administration staff will be meeting over the next fortnight to discuss their claim for a new collective employment agreement.
NZEI Te Riu Roa Immediate Past President Ian Leckie says the claim includes the introduction of a new career pathway and better job security for the staff who make up almost 30 percent of the school workforce.
“School support staff are essential to ensure all children can fully participate in learning and other school activities.
“Yet many of these workers have no certainty of employment from one term to the next because the funding for their positions is ad hoc and tenuous.
“We need extensive changes to the way schools are funded so that they can provide support staff with a fair living wage.
“Despite the critical role support staff play, many earn little more than the minimum wage.
“We believe that as a first step, schools ought to be adequately funded to pay a Living Wage, which has been calculated at $18.40 an hour.
A living wage is defined as ‘the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life. A living wage will enable workers to live with dignity and to participate as active citizens in society.’
The schedule for meeting throughout the country can be found at: http://www.nzei.org.nz/documents/MYNZEI/Resources/whats%20on/PUMs/SS-PUM-schedule-20130731.pdf